St Johnstone’s Wright rejects elbowing ban

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FRAZER Wright has rejected a league-offered two-match ban after a weekend clash with Celtic defender Mikael Lustig and intends to fight his corner today at Hampden.

The St Johnstone defender is adamant that he is innocent of a charge of violent conduct levelled against him by the Judicial Panel and has declined the offer of a ban which would have seen him miss Sunday’s crunch match with Motherwell and the first game of next season. And he is being backed by manager Steve Lomas, who fears the authorities are in danger of being lured into trial by television.

Lomas, who is locked in a battle for third place and European qualification with Inverness Caley Thistle despite being strongly linked with the vacant post at League One champions Doncaster, said: “I’ve looked at the incident several times and I don’t see how they can say ­Frazer is guilty of violent conduct.

“He’s jumping for the ball and anyone who has ever played football at any level will tell you that you can’t do that with your arms at your sides.

“You put your arms out for leverage. It is a natural body shape. That’s what he’s has done and unfortunately Frazer has caught the Celtic player. But there’s nothing violent about it. If Frazer had been looking at him when he did it I’d be the first to say it’s not right and that it’s dangerous.

“But football is a contact sport and sometimes these collisions simply happen by accident.”

Lomas expressed concern that television is playing too big a role in the disciplinary process. “This shows up the whole system because the referee and his assistants saw nothing wrong with it at the time.

“What has happened is that an editor in the BBC has decided that’s the incident they’re going to highlight this week and that’s that. I know other managers have had a problem with this as well. It’s not justice.

“The system seems to centre around whatever appears on Sportscene. So who is making these decisions? Is it the Sportscene editor? I have seen loads of incidents this season that could have been called up but weren’t because they didn’t appear on the telly on a Sunday night.”