Neil Lennon and the Scottish Football Association (SFA) appear to be on a collision course after the Celtic manager was served with a Notice of Complaint following his sending off at half-time during the 3-2 defeat by Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday.
After complaining to referee Calum Murray in the tunnel about his performance, with the visitors a goal down and having had defender Cha Du-ri sent-off, a dismissal Celtic have appealed against, Lennon was ordered to the stand although he watched the rest of the match in the media room.
The Parkhead boss has allegedly breached rule 203 which pertains to “misconduct at a match by dissent, the adoption of aggressive behaviour towards a match official and the repeated use of offensive, abusing and insulting language” and has until next Tuesday to respond.
However, the allegations contained within that rule are at odds with Lennon’s account of the incident.
“I spoke quietly and coldly to the referee in the tunnel,” said the former Celtic skipper after the game. “I didn’t swear and didn’t point any fingers.
“I told him I wasn’t happy with his first-half performance. I was speaking to the match delegate after the game and their version of events are different from mine but I’ve got witnesses to back me up.”
To matters on the pitch — Lennon described as “nonsense” accusations his players are big-game bottlers.
The disappointment of Ibrox came just a week after the Hoops lost the Scottish Communities League Cup final defeat against Kilmarnock.
Celtic’s doubters will point to last season’s League Cup final defeat by Rangers at Hampden and the upset at Inverness last May which ultimately cost them the championship.
However, Lennon is adamant that when they do eventually win the title, they will be worthy champions.
“People can throw the accusation we don’t win the big games all they want — but it is nonsense,” he said.
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