Hibernian forward Rowan Vine has received a censure from the Scottish Football Association over an “offensive” tweet aimed at Celtic manager Neil Lennon.
Vine faced an SFA hearing yesterday after being charged with “making offensive comments on Twitter suggesting the use of violence”. Lennon had complained about Hibs’ tackling in the 1-1 Scottish Premiership draw between the sides on 19 October, and singled out Vine for a challenge on Darnell Fisher.
Vine responded by making reference in his Twitter postings to an incident in a Newcastle versus Leicester game in 1998 when Alan Shearer was accused of kicking Lennon in the head. The player later apologised for the comments, but was found to be in breach of disciplinary rule 82 and censured by the football governing body. Meanwhile, Celtic could face action over a second banner after the Scottish Professional Football League confirmed it was looking into complaints about a display during Aberdeen’s visit to Parkhead on Saturday.
Uefa opened disciplinary proceedings against Celtic on Wednesday over an “illicit banner”, including images of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and Scottish nationalist icon William Wallace, which was displayed ahead of their Champions League defeat by AC Milan.
The SPFL later confirmed it had begun initial enquiries into a similar display at Celtic Park days earlier. Fans held aloft a large ‘H’ symbol – representing the Maze Prison block in Belfast where ten Irish Republicans died on hunger strike in 1981 – alongside lyrics derived from Flower of Scotland – “they fought and died for their wee bit hill and glen”. SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “We are looking at that and as soon as we are in a position to comment then we’ll do so.”
Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell demanded supporters leave their political views at home after Uefa announced disciplinary action, while the club vowed to ban anyone involved in displays which “were in no way football-related”.