Celtic release statement as Brendan Rodgers issued ban following SFA hearing

The Hoops boss was accused of breaching Rule 72 during Celtic's 2-0 loss with Hearts at the start of the month.

Brendan Rodgers has been issued a two-match ban following a hearing by the Scottish FA disciplinary panel. The Celtic boss will miss the Hoops' upcoming clash against Livingston this Sunday but he will return to the dugout for the Old Firm clash at Ibrox the following weekend.

Rodgers' second suspended game is on hold until the end of the 2023/24 season, clearing him to be present for his side's top-of-the-table title clash with Rangers.

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The 51-year-old was accused of breaching Rule 72 during Celtic's 2-0 loss with Hearts at the start of the month. Rule 72 prohibits managers and other club staff from 'criticising the decisions and/or performances of any match officials in such a way as to indicate bias or incompetence'. 

Rodgers criticised the officiating of referee Don Robertson and VAR John Beaton as 'really, really poor' and slammed the 'absolutely shocking decision-making'. Celtic's loss to Hearts puts them on the back-foot against Rangers in the Scottish Premiership title race. Philippe Clement's side are currently just one point behind the Bhoys with a game in-hand.

The outcome of the SFA hearing found Rodgers guilty of the rule break and he will not be present for this weekend's trip to Almondvale Stadium. Celtic have released a statement following the verdict.

"Clearly, we are disappointed with the outcome of today’s hearing, although we will accept the panel’s decision. The Manager appeared at the hearing today, and his defence was presented robustly and thoroughly.

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"Like many other clubs, we will continue to press for the highest standards in relation to the VAR process in Scottish football."

Celtic will hope to kick-off their return following the international break with a win over Livingston, however, they will be relying on Rangers on also dropping points. The two Glasgow rivals will lock horns on April 7th in the potentially title-defining derby clash.