Paul McGinn hit with two-game ban for referee comments in wake of Hibs' Premier Sports Cup final loss

Hibs vice-captain Paul McGinn has been banned for two games following comments he made in the wake of the club’s Premier Sports Cup final defeat by Celtic.

The defender took aim at referee John Beaton, branding the whistler’s performance “inept” with reference to Celtic’s second goal, with the Scottish FA issuing a notice of complaint accusing the player of breaching disciplinary rule 72: “No recognised football body, club, official, Team Official or other member of Team Staff, player or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA, shall in an interview, a ‘blog’ on the internet, on a social networking or micro-blogging site, or in any other manner calculated or likely to lead to publicity (i) criticise the Decision(s) and/or performance(s) of any or all match official(s) in such a way as to indicate bias or incompetence on the part of such match official; or (ii) make remarks about such match official(s) which impinge on his character.”

McGinn was slapped with a two-match suspension following a hearing at Hampden on Thursday.

The former St Mirren man claimed Hibs were waiting for a substitution to be made when Kyogo Furuhashi lobbed Matt Macey for the winning goal at the national stadium following a disputed free kick.

Paul McGinn has been banned for two games

Speaking after the game McGinn said: “We are really annoyed about it. It's not a foul and when it is, the fourth official is holding the board so we just assumed it's a sub. Our kitman has handed the board to the fourth official.

"The referee has no control over the situation and just lets it happen and the goal goes in. You can see me running to him straight away and I get myself booked. It's inept.

"I ran to him and asked him what was going on. There is no way we'd have got that the other way

"It's not a foul, it's a sub but then before you know it he's so sharp and I couldn't catch him and then the ball's in the net."

The 31-year-old will now miss the matches against Celtic on Monday January 17 and Cove Rangers on Thursday January 20, meaning there could be debuts for January signings Rocky Bushiri and Harry Clarke with Ryan Porteous also banned for those two matches and the trip to Motherwell on Wednesday January 26.

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