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Celtic boss Lennon in touchline let-off

By Jim Gracey

Embattled Celtic boss Neil Lennon had one touchline ban reduced overnight but now faces another for his part in Wednesday’s explosive Old Firm battle at Parkhead.

A hefty six-match ban on Lennon after previous bust-ups with referees was reduced to four after a meeting of the Scottish FA's Appeals Board.

But the Lurgan man will find himself up in front of the ruling body again after Wednesday's post-match scenes that stoked police and parliamentary concerns over behaviour at Old Firm games boiling over into reactions outside football.

Lennon and Rangers assistant boss Ally McCoist are in trouble after having to be separated at the end of an ill-tempered Scottish Cup fifth-round replay which Celtic won 1-0.

In a hard-hitting statement, Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan condemned “the inflammatory and irresponsible behaviour” witnessed during and after the match and confirmed an investigation had been launched into all incidents, including the three red cards picked up by the visitors

Lennon claimed he and McCoist had settled their differences but both are likely to be handed touchline bans after the investigation is complete.

The Hoops boss admitted: “There was an incident on the touchline at the final whistle between myself and Ally McCoist, and obviously it's one that has attracted a lot of attention.

“Words were exchanged but it is a passionate game and both of us want our team to win. However, we were still able to sit down after the game and, as far as we are concerned, the matter is closed.”

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