Forty eight hours after the event, the SFA has finally moved to charge the Ibrox women’s assistant coach over his deplorable head-butt on Fran Alonso.
He is deemed to have broken Disciplinary Rule 77, which reads that;
“A recognised football body, club, official, Team Official, other member of Team Staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall, at all times, act in the best interests of Association Football. Furthermore such person or body shall not act in any manner which is improper or use any one, or a combination of, violent Conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour.”
There does not appear to be a fixed penalty here, and we cannot base our conclusion of what punishment he’s likely to get from prior cases; Rule 77 is usually cited along with other offenses.
When Kyle Lafferty got a ten match ban recently he was cited under Rule 77 as well as Rule 81. It was Rule 81 that carried the mandatory ten game ban. After making derogatory comments about Ryan Porteous, Jim Goodwin was charged under Rule 73 and Rule 77. When Ibrox’s players got six match bans over COVID breaches they were cited under Rule 77 as well as we Rule 24.
Both the Ibrox club and were charged under both Rule 19 and Rule 77 over Mike Ashley’s dual ownership issues. That charge gives the SFA plenty of scope, but I find it difficult to understand why he’s not being charged with straight-up violent conduct too.
The thing is, we don’t know what to expect here.
This could be a heavy punishment or it could be a slap on the wrist. In addition to SFA action there will probably be a separate hearing under the auspices of the SWPL. The police are also considering the matter and this is not likely to be influenced by whether or not Celtic and Alonso want to proceed. Police action doesn’t work that way.
So the matter will be adjudicated on 13 April. Maybe before then the Ibrox club will issue a statement apologising to Fran Alonso and Celtic. I am not holding my breath for that though.