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By ESPN Staff

Lennon handed six-match touchline ban

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has received a six-match touchline ban, the Scottish Football Association has confirmed.

The Hoops boss was at Hampden today to appeal against an automatic two-match ban, and a charge of excessive misconduct, after being sent to the stand during a game against Hearts on November 10.

However, his appeal proved unsuccessful when the SFA's disciplinary committee opted to treble his original punishment.

A statement from the SFA said: "Following a meeting of the Scottish FA's Disciplinary Committee at Hampden Park today [Tuesday], the Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, was found guilty of excessive misconduct.

"Mr Lennon will serve his automatic two-match ban for being dismissed during the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match against Heart of Midlothian at Tynecastle on November 10, 2010, plus an additional four matches for excessive misconduct.

"The sanctions are effective from Tuesday, January 18, and Mr Lennon has seven days to appeal the decision.''

With Lennon's suspension beginning next week, he will still be in the dug-out for Wednesday's game at Hamilton and the weekend trip to Hibernian.

However, he will be banned for the Scottish Cup fifth round tie against Rangers at Ibrox, after the Old Firm rivals were paired together in today's draw at Hampden.

The Hoops boss is also in the stand for the Co-operative Insurance Cup tie against Aberdeen and two Scottish Premier League games against the Dons, as well as league games against Hearts and Dundee United.

Hoops assistant manager Johan Mjallby had hoped Lennon would escape with no more than a two-match ban if he lost his appeal.

But the Celtic No. 2 insists the rest of the backroom staff and the players have no option but to cope with the absence of the manager from the dug-out.

"We are obviously going to miss him but we have to swallow that medicine and we have to take a bit more responsibility within the backroom staff," Mjallby said.

"We will still have the same game-plan and set-up before games so it shouldn't change too much. It's a big loss but the players are professionals and some of them have seen that in the past at other clubs, when the manager is out for a few games. You just get on with it.

"I think we have all maybe been a bit too excited at the start of the season. There is a lot of energy you need to get out of your system and there is so much happening in the games.

"But you get used to it and I'm quite sure that Neil, from now on, is going to be a bit more calmer. He needs that aggression as well because he is the main man and we all know that he is at his best when he is really up for a game.''

Mjallby felt the original dismissal was harsh, adding: "He is an animated character and the appeal jury have to understand that as well. Some of them will know all about Neil as a player. I think it was a bit harsh and we were all agitated when it happened because we didn't think it was a sending-off at the time.''


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