The Scottish Football Association today agreed to Hearts’ request to postpone the hearing into their controversial comments made in the wake of the Andy Davis affair.
Tynecastle bosses were set to face the SFA’s general purposes committee at Hampden this afternoon on a charge of bringing the game into disrepute following comments made after their 2-1 defeat by Rangers in the Bank of Scotland Premier League on March 2.
Hearts demanded an inquiry into the decision of referee Hugh Dallas, on the advice of linesman Davis, to hand Rangers a last-minute penalty.
The club took the unprecedented step of calling for for the governing body to launch an inquiry into the decision and questioned its – and therefore Davis’ - “integrity”.
That was rejected by the SFA, who instead put the wheels in motion to scrutinise comments made to the media by Hearts officials.
Principal shareholder Vladimir Romanov had been quoted suggesting that the officials had not acted properly but as the Lithuania-based Russian does not speak English and the quotes are understood to have originated from the Baltic it is not clear whether the banker will be directly involved.
Head coach John Robertson – who has found himself in trouble with the SFA on several occasions already this season – also made comments about the officials during the post-match press conference.
These certainly were in English and were specifically about his conversation with the officials after the final whistle. It is understood that both Dallas and Davis disagree with the published content of Robertson’s version.
The controversial game also resulted in Hearts winger Saulius Mikoliunas being suspended for a total of eight games for barging into Davis, after two red cards sent him crashing through the disciplinary points threshold before the SFA added five matches on to his automatic three-game ban for “exceptional misconduct”.
Hearts are appealing against that decision in the knowledge that today’s hearing had been scheduled to decide whether Articles 125 and 128 of the SFA’s articles of association, which govern bringing the game into disrepute and criticising match officials, had been breached.
Dallas will be the man in the middle for their next game against Celtic this weekend.
A statement from the SFA read: “The SFA General Purposes Committee, which meets this afternoon, has deferred the hearing of the case relating to Heart of Midlothian FC to a later date, at the request of the club.
“A new date will be announced in due course.”