Hearts update: Esmael Goncalves red card appeal to be heard in 48 hours

Hearts striker Esmael Goncalves will have his appeal heard by the Scottish FA on Thursday
Hearts striker Esmael Goncalves will have his appeal heard by the Scottish FA on Thursday
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Hearts will learn on Thursday whether Esmael Goncalves can face Rangers when the Scottish Football Association hear his red card appeal.

The Portuguese striker is facing an automatic two-match ban for violent conduct after being ordered off at Kilmarnock on Saturday, but Hearts have appealed the decision.

An SFA fast track tribunal will convene at Hampden Park on Thursday to discuss a range of disciplinary issues, including Goncalves' claim for unfair dismissal.

He scored the only goal of the match in Ayrshire before being sent off along with Kilmarnock's Kirk Broadfoot midway through the second half. The centre-back appeared to pull Goncalves' hair after the players collided and Broadfoot was then seen holding his face. Both men were issued straight red cards for violent conduct by referee Stephen Finnie.

Hearts are appealing to the SFA in the hope of having the decision overturned, which would free Goncalves to play against Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday. If the appeal fails, he will be suspended for that match and the following week's trip to Motherwell.

Interim head coach Jon Daly is likely to be in charge at Ibrox whilst Tynecastle officials continue their search for a new head coach. Daly wants Goncalves available if at all possible given the player has scored three goals in his last three games.

He explained Goncalves' value to the Evening News before he had reviewed video footage of the Broadfoot incident. "We're obviously disappointed to have Isma sent off," he said. "Going to Ibrox without a goalscorer like him is tough. He's scored three in three games for us now, and he scored last time he was there. He's a player you want in your team going to places like Ibrox and Celtic Park."