Hearts’ Steven MacLean could face ban over clash with Celtic’s Eboue Kouassi

Steven MacLean and Eboue Kouassi clashed during the first half at BT Murrayfield
Steven MacLean and Eboue Kouassi clashed during the first half at BT Murrayfield
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Hearts striker Steven MacLean could face a two-game ban following his clash with Celtic midfielder Eboue Kouassi.

MacLean appeared to grab the Ivorian player by the privates as they clashed at a corner during Sunday’s 3-0 Betfred Cup semi-final defeat at BT Murrayfield. The Celtic player went off moments later but the incident was missed by officials. MacLean, 36, insisted after the game: “It was just a laugh, just a coming together. If I went down every time a centre-half niggled me I would be on my backside all day. It was just handbags.”

However, it is understood SFA compliance officer Clare Whyte is set to review footage of the incident to decide whether or not the Hearts star was guilty of violent conduct.

Any ban would kick in after tomorrow’s Edinburgh derby against Hibs and see the player miss Saturday’s trip to face the Hoops at Celtic Park in Premiership action followed by the visit of Kilmarnock to Tynecastle seven days later.

Hearts boss Craig Levein is already without striker Uche Ikpeazu to long-term injury while fellow attacker Steven Naismith limped out of Sunday’s semi-final with a knee problem.