Celtic striker Albian Ajeti avoids 'dive' ban from SFA panel

Celtic striker Albian Ajeti has avoided punishment from the Scottish FA disciplinary panel over his simulation charge against Kilmarnock.

Penalty awarded to Celtic after Albian Ajeti is brought down by Colin Doyle during the Scottish Premiership match between Kilmarnock and Celtic at Rugby Park on February 02, 2021, in Kilmarnock, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Penalty awarded to Celtic after Albian Ajeti is brought down by Colin Doyle during the Scottish Premiership match between Kilmarnock and Celtic at Rugby Park on February 02, 2021, in Kilmarnock, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

The Swiss striker tumbled as he chased the ball out of play and was challenged by home goalkeeper Colin Doyle during Celtic’s 4-0 win at Rugby Park last week.

Odsonne Edouard scored the resultant penalty – but Ajeti was slapped with a post-match disciplinary charge and fast track hearing this week, much to Neil Lennon’s bemusement.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

After being accused of breaching rule 201 which states ‘No player shall cause a match official to make an incorrect decision and/or support an error of judgement on the part of a match official by an act of simulation’ his manager said: “He has had contact to the back of his foot, or ankle. The keeper has made contact, he has gone down, the referee has given a penalty. I don't see any simulation. Simulation is where there is no contact. There is obvious contact, you can see that quite clearly.

“I don't understand why these charges have been brought up against Albian, we don't agree with it at all.”

Celtic appealed the charge but the striker’s initial case – set for Monday – was delayed by 24 hours, but the Hampden hearing returned a ‘not proven’ verdict this afternoon leaving him free to face St Mirren on Wednesday night.

Ajeti, a £4.5m summer signing from West Ham, has scored six times in 26 appearances this season including his side’s fourth in Ayrshire last week.

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today.