Shiels banned for ref comments

  • Last Updated: December 13 2012, 18:14 GMT

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels has been handed a four-match ban, two of which are suspended until the end of next season, for remarks about referee Euan Norris following his side's defeat to Inverness on November 3.

Kenny Shiels: Handed a four-match ban

Shiels, who made a personal appearance at Thursday's Scottish Football Association hearing at Hampden, will now start a minimum three-match ban after a one-game suspension, hanging over him for comments made about officials last season, was enforced.

Shiels was found to be in breach of SFA rules for comments made in interviews following the Inverness match that "impinged upon the character of a match official".

One of the charges maintained Shiels had made comments in a radio interview that suggested "the match official may bear a grudge" against him were he to answer questions about Norris' performance.

Shiels also said at the time: "I went to shake hands with the referee and I didn't say a word. I kept my emotions in check as much as I could and then he said something sarcastic so I reported him.

"I don't know what he said but it was something flippant."

Asked if he had any complaints about goalkeeper Cammy Bell's dismissal in the November 3 fixture, Shiels said: "I'm not allowed to tell the truth.

"(SFA compliance officer) Vincent Lunny won't allow me to tell the truth so I can't talk about officials.

"It is the only industry in the world where you are not allowed to tell the truth."

The SFA noted that in a newspaper article reporting Bell's successful appeal against his dismissal, Shiels further suggested Norris would not be acting with integrity if he failed to admit he made a mistake.

The Northern Irishman escaped additional punishment by the SFA panel after being sent to the stands by referee Stevie O'Reilly for disputing his controversial decision to dismiss Manuel Pascal in a match against St Johnstone at Rugby Park on November 24.

Shiels was found in breach of SFA rule 203, which relates to misconduct, but the panel ruled no further sanction was necessary.

Today's hearing comes after Shiels was given a two-match touchline ban in June - one of which was suspended and subsequently enforced today - after comments he made about refereeing decisions in a match between Celtic and St Johnstone.

Shiels felt wronged after the hearing, telling STV: "I'm disappointed at the ruling.

"I feel I haven't done anything wrong. I don't feel guilty. My freedom of speech has been taken away."

Escaping further punishment for his dismissal against St Johnstone also offered little comfort.

Shiels said: "I'm not pleased for being cleared for that, I'm frustrated because ultimately we lost that match."

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