Glenavon boss hit with lengthy ban despite being cleared of assault
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton has been cleared of assaulting fourth official Peter McGrath during a Danske Bank Premiership game at Coleraine last month but has been handed a five match ban for 'unsporting conduct' by the Irish FA Disciplinary Committee.
Hamilton was sent off in the 1-1 draw at the Showgrounds for pushing McGrath but the Lurgan Blues claimed that their boss was confronted by the official before he reacted, adding that they could provide video evidence and independent witnesses to support their claim.
The IFA Disciplinary Committee last night considered written and verbal submissions, including footage supplied by both parties, prior to delivering their verdict on the case.
Hamilton would have been facing a long ban had he been found guilty of assaulting the official. The Committee decided 'the actions of Mr Hamilton did not amount to assault against Mr McGrath'.
The Glenavon boss will, however, start a five game suspension on Monday for what was deemed unsporting conduct.
The statement from the IFA read: "On Wednesday, 7 March the IFA Disciplinary Committee heard a challenge made by Glenavon FC in relation to the charges issued against Mr Gary Hamilton for alleged incidents which occurred at the Coleraine v Glenavon match on Saturday, 10 February.
"The IFA Disciplinary Committee having considered all written and verbal submissions, including footage supplied by both parties, felt that the actions of Mr Hamilton did not amount to assault against Mr McGrath and therefore found that the charge of Article 18.14 was not proven.
"The Disciplinary Committee, however, were content that Mr Hamilton's actions were of unsporting conduct and issued a 5 match suspension against Article 18.13."
Meanwhile, following Tuesday night's 6-1 home league defeat to Crusaders, Hamilton was critical of another official - referee Raymond Crangle.
Hamilton felt the decision by the Belfast whistler to award a penalty kick just before the break for an alleged handball offence by defender Andrew Doyle changed the game with the Crues going into the break 2-1 up.
"We've seen the pictures and it's as clear as day that Andrew Doyle has turned side-on. The ball hit him on the outside of the arm from two yards - so it's not a penalty kick," he said.
"Suddenly, we go in at half-time 2-1 down instead of being level - it changes the dynamic of the game," added Hamilton, who was also convinced there were fouls against his players leading up to the Crues' final two goals.