Flanagan ban overturned on appeal
Full-back was initially suspended after clashing with Celtic’s Scott Brown.
Rangers defender Jon Flanagan’s two-game ban for clashing with Celtic skipper Scott Brown has been overturned on appeal.
The Ibrox club were left outraged when it was announced earlier this week that the former Liverpool full-back had been cited by the Scottish Football Association for the incident during last Sunday’s Old Firm triumph at Ibrox.
Flanagan was booked by referee Kevin Clancy after appearing to plant his arm into Brown’s face as they tussled before a second-half corner.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon criticised Flanagan after the game, insisting the Rangers player should have walked and SFA compliance officer Claire Whyte decided the incident was worth reviewing.
She referred the case to a panel of three former referees, who all agreed Flanagan should have seen red.
Rangers chiefs released a statement vowing to defend their player “vigorously” while also questioning why Hoops defender Jozo Simunovic had also not been issued with a notice of complaint following an off-the-ball collision with Jermain Defoe.
Now the Ibrox club’s appeal has proved successful after the SFA confirmed the charge against Flanagan had been dismissed by an independent disciplinary panel at Hampden on Friday afternoon.
The 26-year-old is now free to take part in Rangers’ final game of the season at Kilmarnock on Sunday as well as the first game of next year’s campaign.
The decision was backed by Light Blues assistant boss Gary McAllister.
Speaking before the SFA made its verdict public, he said: “I agreed it was a yellow card. What the referee saw and gave, we were in support of that. That’s how I saw it.
“I thought when you’d been given a yellow card, you couldn’t be cited.
“We just backed the referee’s decision on the day that it was a yellow. I don’t want to comment on what happens at other clubs. The fact is Jon is our player, we just thought it was a coming together and what the ref gave we agreed with.”
A spokesman for the club added: “Obviously we have concerns about the process but we are happy that the correct decision has been upheld.”
Press Association Sport understands Simunovic went through the same disciplinary process as Flanagan, but there was no unanimous agreement among the three-man panel of former referees that he should have been sent off.