Hearts v Hibs: Steven MacLean out of derby as Jambos accept violent conduct charge

Steven MacLean will miss the derby and Hearts' next League Cup match. Picture: SNS Group
Steven MacLean will miss the derby and Hearts' next League Cup match. Picture: SNS Group
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Steven MacLean will miss tonight’s Edinburgh derby between Hearts and Hibs.

The Tynecastle side have accepted the two-match ban offered to the striker for violent conduct in Sunday’s Betfred Cup semi-final loss to Celtic.

MacLean clashed with Celtic midfielder Eboue Kouassi, and footage showed him grabbing the Ivorian’s privates as Hearts prepared to take a corner.

The Scottish FA’s Compliance Officer, Clare Whyte, issued a notice of complaint, after three former referees had reviewed the match footage.

Hearts and the player had the chance to argue the case at a disciplinary hearing at Hampden scheduled for Thursday, but MacLean has accepted his punishment.

The charge was likely based on a recent change to the rules which identifies such incidents as violent conduct.

Speaking ahead of the derby, Hearts boss Craig Levein lamented the alteration to the rules, adding: “[Steven] said he’s been doing it for years but I had to chuckle at that.

“I don’t think it was an offence (before), if you know what I mean.

“I’m rueing the fact that they changed the rules this summer, and then it becomes a different offence.

The 36-year-old will miss the visit of Hibs this evening, and Hearts’ next League Cup tie.