Glasgow – Celtic manager Neil Lennon has been handed an immediate three-match touchline ban for confronting referee Euan Norris after the Hoops' Scottish Cup semifinal defeat by Hearts.
In his latest run-in with the Scottish Football Association's discipinary system, Lennon received a six-match ban on Thursday but half of the punishment was suspended until the end of next season.
The former Celtic midfielder, who has just served a two-match ban, received no punishment for a further two rule breaches relating to comments made on Twitter hours after the game.
An SFA ruling read: “The judicial panel found Mr Lennon in breach but imposed no further sanction based on the fact he was not responsible for the posting of the actual tweet.”
After the match in question, Lennon ran onto the Hampden Park pitch to confront Norris over a Hearts penalty award that came when a Marius Zaliukas shot hit the arm of Joe Ledley and then brushed against Victor Wanyama.
Celtic were then denied a penalty of their own when the ball struck Hearts defender Andy Webster.
A tweet from Lennon was posted shortly after the game, where he said: “Referee told players he thought Wanyama handled...feel so sorry for players and fans..I think it's personal myself.”
He then re-tweeted a comment from a Celtic supporter that suggested the club “pack our bags and get out of this league that is run by crooked £SFA officials”.
Lennon served a two-match ban for accusing referee Willie Collum of a “criminal” decision in not awarding Celtic a late penalty in their 1-0 defeat by Kilmarnock in the Scottish League Cup final.
He received no additional punishment after being sent from the dug-out half-way through Celtic's 3-2 Scottish Premier League defeat by arch Glasgow rivals Rangers in March.
Last month Celtic won the Scottish Premier League title, having been helped on their way by a 10-point penalty given to Rangers for entering administration. – Sapa-AFP