Alex Cochrane's unusual SFA ban: The games he will miss and Hearts' appeal decision after red card against Celtic

The English defender is facing a Scottish Football Association suspension which is not straightforward
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Hearts defender Alex Cochrane is facing a suspension which will preclude him from two of the Edinburgh club’s final four Premiership games. Cochrane’s red card against Celtic on Sunday triggered the ban through the Scottish Football Association’s disciplinary system.

He was ordered off by referee Nick Walsh for fouling the Parkhead winger Daizen Maeda and denying the Japanese a clear goalscoring opportunity in the process. Walsh initially issued Cochrane a yellow card for the offence but, VAR intervened, he reviewed the incident on a pitchside monitor and changed the caution to a dismissal.

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As a result, Cochrane is automatically suspended for Hearts’ league trip to St Mirren this Saturday. Because he has already been sent off this season – also against Celtic last August – another game is added to the punishment. That takes effect 14 days after his latest red card, meaning Cochrane must also sit out Hearts’ penultimate match of the campaign away to Rangers on Wednesday, May 24.

He will be eligible for Aberdeen’s visit to Tynecastle Park on Saturday, May 20, as that comes before the 14-day threshold. Cochrane will also be available for the season’s final fixture – the Edinburgh derby between Hearts and Hibs in Gorgie on Saturday, May 27.

Tynecastle officials had the option to appeal against the red card but decided against it earlier today. They would have been wary of lodging an appeal which may be deemed ‘frivolous’ – as happened recently with Aberdeen’s Graeme Shinnie, resulting in an extra one-game ban being added to his punishment.

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