Hearts will appeal the red card shown to Kyle Lafferty against Aberdeen, but the striker will be unable to make his case in person due to the team’s winter training camp in Spain.
The Northern Ireland internationalist was dismissed by referee John Beaton after barrelling through Dons skipper Graeme Shinnie in the final moments of Saturday’s 0-0 draw.
Hearts officials have pored over video footage – both broadcast and in-house – and feel they have a strong case to have the red card quashed and ensure Lafferty is free to face Hibernian in the Scottish Cup fourth round on 21 January.
Manager Craig Levein said after the fixture: “Kyle was chasing back, and he was a fraction away from the ball. I feel sorry for him. The referee said he went in with excessive force but it wasn’t any more forceful than other tackles in the game.”
Due to holidays over the New Year period, the SFA hearing at Hampden will not take place until 11 January.
That date coincides with Hearts’ training camp in Valencia between the 11th and 16th of this month and, barring a decision to delay their departures, it means Lafferty and Levein will not be in attendance at the hearing, as would normally be the case when a player is bidding to have a decision overturned.