Hearts accept two-game ban for Steven Naismith

Steven Naismith's season has been brought to a premature end after Hearts accepted the Scottish Football Association's two-game ban for his tackle on Celtic's Scott Brown.

Thursday, 10th May 2018, 3:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th May 2018, 3:45 pm
The SFA have punished Hearts' Steven Naismith for this tackle on Scott Brown.

The Edinburgh club decided not to contest the issue, meaning Naismith must sit out Sunday's season-ending league visit to Kilmarnock. Should the on-loan Norwich City striker return to Tynecastle again next season, he will also be banned for the first Betfred League Cup tie.

As things stand, he is contractually obliged to return to Carrow Road this summer and bows out at Hearts on the back of his winning goal in Wednesday night's 2-1 Edinburgh derby win over Hibs.

Naismith received a notice of complaint from SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan on Wednesday afternoon following his late challenge on Brown during Sunday's Hearts-Celtic match. He was effectively offered a retrospective red card and two-game suspension, which Hearts have chosen to accept rather than appeal.

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Speaking about the tackle after the Hibs game, Naismith said: "I haven’t looked back at the tackle. It probably looks worse than it was.

"The tackle was late and probably merited some sort of punishment but there wasn’t any malice. I haven’t jumped into a tackle. I thought Broony was going to take a touch. Then he slid and I’m all in by then. It’s one of those things. I'll accept what comes."