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By ESPN Staff

Celtic hit out at SFA following Loovens ban

Celtic have accused the Scottish Football Association's disciplinary process of being "disparate and arbitrary'' following the decision to uphold Glenn Loovens' ban for his challenge on Maurice Edu.

Manager Tony Mowbray yesterday reacted to the news Loovens had lost his appeal over the matter by saying: "We accept that and move on.''

But, 24 hours later, the club insisted they were "justified'' in challenging the decision and suggested they were being unfairly targeted by the SFA, who they claim have ignored similar incidents involving other teams.

Loovens, 25, was suspended by the SFA's disciplinary committee after they reviewed footage which appeared to show the Holland international flicking a boot at Edu during the May 9 Old Firm derby at Ibrox.

He was punished with a one-match ban and had 12 points added to his 2008-09 disciplinary points total for "misconduct of a significantly serious nature''.

He appealed against the decision but yesterday lost that verdict and will now miss Saturday's SPL game against Motherwell.

As well as the Loovens case, the SFA also reviewed a Scott McDonald challenge on Dundee United's Lee Wilkie but the Hoops striker was cleared of any wrongdoing.

A Celtic spokesperson said: "The club still awaits clarification from the Scottish Football Association in terms of the process followed with regards to this case and other incidents.

"We have written to the SFA on two occasions, the first time over a month ago, to ascertain the criteria for referring incidents to the SFA Review Panel. We have received no substantive response on this issue so far and the procedure by which Glenn Loovens and Scott McDonald were referred for review remains unclear.

"Therefore, we still do not understand the procedure by which Glenn Loovens and Scott McDonald were referred for review and other similar incidents in recent months have not been. The process seems to be disparate and arbitrary.

"Our objective is to ensure that these processes are applied fairly, consistently and in a transparent manner, for the benefit of all clubs and players. We will continue to pursue this objective and look forward to hearing from the SFA shortly.''

Loovens' case did expose serious flaws in the SFA's disciplinary process. Despite his clash with Edu taking place more than five months ago, he was not found guilty until the disciplinary committee met on August 7.

His appeal freed him to play in injury-hit Celtic's opening SPL game of the season at Aberdeen and it took the SFA more than two months to reconvene on the matter.


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