Celtic interim manager John Kennedy has criticised the Scottish Football Association’s delayed decision making over the Rangers players who breached Covid-19 rules.
Five Rangers players were caught attending a house party in February in violation of lockdown rules and were charged by the SFA. However, Rangers appealed the decision and now, the SFA has confirmed that the hearing date for the appeal will be held on April 20.
Kennedy, however, hit out at the SFA’s inconsistency in dishing out punishments highlighting how Celtic have been reprimanded “very quickly” in the past whereas the decision to punish the Rangers players has “taken so long”.
Earlier in the season, Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli was caught flouting Covid rules when he flew to Spain and back without informing the club. In addition, he failed to quarantine for the required 14 days. The defender was handed a three-game ban by the SFA with a further two game penalty suspended.
In February, a quintet of Rangers footballers were also caught violating Covid protocols when they attended a house party in Glasgow. All five players were charged by the SFA and were handed six game bans, two of which were suspended until the end of the season.
However, Steven Gerrard‘s side appealed the decision and the hearing for said appeal has now been set for April 20, which allows the guilty first-team trio of Nathan Patterson, Bongani Zungu and Calvin Bassey to face Celtic in the Scottish Cup next week.
Kennedy on Gerrard’s comments.
“Steven’s got his reasons to do that and say it but our players are talented,” Kennedy said.
“We paid money for them and have high hopes for them. Look at the Bolingoli situation. Yes, he broke the law and he was harshly punished for it and rightly so.
“Regardless of how talented or valuable the player may be, there comes a punishment when you step out of line. We’ve been dealt with harshly in the past and had to accept that.
“This is only my opinion and I’m not just saying this because it’s Rangers.”
Kennedy on SFA delay.
Kennedy also criticised the SFA over their delay in making a decision over the Rangers Covid rules breach.
“It’s not our situation but, looking from the outside, I don’t understand why there’s such a delay,” Kenny added.
“It’s something I think should have been dealt with a hell of a lot quicker to remain consistent with all the other decisions that have happened.
“The SFA probably need to address this themselves and give a bit more clarity to everyone in terms of the hold-up and why it has taken so long.
“Going back to the consistency, we were dealt with very quickly and we were punished harshly and we had to accept that and move on.”