Rangers midfielder Lee McCulloch was today set to be the subject of a disciplinary hearing at Hampden Park as the Scottish Football Association’s fast-track tribunal considered an appeal over his sending-off against St Mirren.
McCulloch was shown a straight red card by referee Steve McLean for violent conduct after catching Saints’ Graham Carey with an elbow during Rangers 2-1 Clydesdale Bank Premier League loss on December 24.
The decision to appeal was controversial as it allowed the midfielder to feature in the Old Firm derby with Celtic on December 28 as the appeal process was delayed due to the holiday period.
But Rangers manager Ally McCoist insisted prior to the Parkhead clash, which his side lost 1-0, he was not trying to exploit a loophole by appealing.
McCoist said: “My initial reaction was that it was harsh and I still feel that. That’s why we are exercising our right to appeal it.”
Rangers were leading 1-0 when McCulloch was sent off and the Buddies responded to win 2-1.
The loss to Celtic, during which McCulloch started and was substituted 11 minutes from time, saw Rangers relinquish the SPL lead and they now trail their derby rivals by two points.
Rangers beat Motherwell 3-0 on Monday in a match McCulloch missed due to a knock.
Meanwhile, the SFA’s compliance officer Vincent Lunny was yet to confirm if any punishments were to be imposed on Celtic’s Emilio Izaguirre or Hearts duo Ian Black and Ryan McGowan.
McGowan’s altercation with Ivan Sproule – in which the Hearts defender appeared to motion towards the Hibs winger with his head – in the second half of the Edinburgh derby could prompt disciplinary action.
Black could also be punished for wearing a T-shirt stating ’I’ll paint this place maroon’ at Easter Road.
Izaguirre also unveiled a T-shirt as a display of thanks after making his comeback at Dunfermline on Monday from a broken leg sustained in August.