Hibs’ Darnell Johnson hit with SFA ban but Celtic’s Jozo Simunovic escapes action

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Hibs defender Darnell Johnson has been offered a two-match ban after his challenge on Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre in the Ladbrokes Premiership meeting between the two sides on Wednesday.

The on-loan Leicester City centre-back clashed with the Honduran international in the 80th minute, resulting in the 33-year-old being stretchered off and replaced by Jonny Hayes.

Darnell Johnson made his Hibs debut against Celtic. Picture: SNS Group

Darnell Johnson made his Hibs debut against Celtic. Picture: SNS Group

Johnson was booked at the time by match referee Craig Thomson. The citation states that the England Under-21 cap breached Disciplinary Rule 200, which results in action being taken “where any one of the sending off offences of (A1) serious foul play, (A2) violent conduct, and (A3) spitting at an opponent or other person is committed by a player at a match, but that sending off offence was not seen by any of the match officials at the time that it was committed.”

The mandatory suspension for the sending-off offence is then applied as per the Judicial Panel Protocol.

It used to be the case that, if a referee took action during a match - i.e. cautioning a player for a challenge - the incident was deemed to have been dealt with.

However, Johnson is now facing a two-match ban with Hibs having until Monday to appeal. A fast-track tribunal hearing is set for Tuesday February 12, clearing the 20-year-old to face Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup on Saturday.

Johnson clashes with Emilio Izaguirre in the Ladbrokes Premiership clash at Parkhead. Picture: SNS Group

Johnson clashes with Emilio Izaguirre in the Ladbrokes Premiership clash at Parkhead. Picture: SNS Group

The Compliance Officer chose not to take any action against Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic after his clash with Hibs forward Oli Shaw just before half-time in the same match.

In the incident, the 24-year-old centre-back clattered the Easter Road youngster as the pair challenged for a high ball. Shaw was replaced by Marc McNulty for the second period and remains a doubt for the visit of Raith.

Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers said on Friday that he didn’t feel the Croatian stopper’s actions merited further punishment, adding: “It was a strong challenge, an aggressive challenge but I think defenders will tell you when you jump in with a young striker - especially the young boy from Hibs, who is a very good one - you have got to be strong and committed in the challenge. I think it was that.”

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor has been offered a two-match ban for his challenge on Aberdeen midfielder Lewis Ferguson in the Gers’ 4-2 win over the Dons at Pitodrie.