Cowdenbeath defender Dean Brett has been hit with an eight-game SFA suspension for allegedly homophobic tweets.
An investigation found the 24-year-old was in breach of SFA rules on social media and he was given an immediate four-match ban, with a further four-match ban suspended for 12 months.
A statement on Cowdenbeath’s website explained that the SFA looked into Brett’s Twitter account after “complaints from two organisations concerned with equality issues”.
The club continued: “Following a hearing at Hampden Park, the [SFA] Tribunal found that between 23 May 2016 and 5 November 2016 Dean made comments upon a social networking site, namely Twitter, that were of a discriminatory, and offensive nature, based upon sexual orientation as well as comments that were otherwise of an offensive nature.
“Thus Dean Brett was in breach of Disciplinary Rule 73 of the SFA’s Disciplinary Rules. The outcome now is that an eight-match suspension will apply as follows – four matches immediate. Thereafter four matches suspended for 12 months and to only take effect in the event that: 1. Dean commits a further breach of Disciplinary Rule 73 before 16 January 2018; and/or 2. The Tweets agreed by the parties at the hearing of 16 January 2017 as having breached Disciplinary Rule 73 are not removed by Dean Brett from his Twitter account by 5pm on 17 January 2017; and/or 3. Dean fails to produce evidence, before 16 January 2018, to the Judicial Panel Secretary, that he attended training upon a) the use of social media and b) Equality issues.”
Brett is also facing SFA charges of gambling on football matches and has been told he will have his case heard by disciplinary chiefs on 16 March. It’s understood the betting claims emerged during the probe into his Twitter account.
Brett, who has confessed to betting on football, is currently suspended by the Fife club after allegations of 2,787 bets on 6,369 matches emerged. The wagers include 65 bets on Cowdenbeath games, including five in which he himself was playing.
The gambling contravenes SFA rules that prohibit players, coaches, club officials and referees in Scotland from betting on any football.
The Cowdenbeath statement said that when the SFA started looking at Brett’s Twitter account following the complaints “it became obvious to the SFA from his Twitter comments that Dean was also betting on football matches which, as a professional footballer in Scotland, is not permitted at all”.