Nadir Ciftci did not bite derby rival, say United

Nadir Ciftci netted twice in the Dundee derby. Picture: SNS
Nadir Ciftci netted twice in the Dundee derby. Picture: SNS
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NADIR Ciftci could face a Scottish Football Association inquiry after Dundee midfielder Jim McAlister appeared to accuse the Dundee United striker of biting him.

Dundee United striker Nadir Ciftci has been backed by the Tannadice club over biting allegations that led to rivals Dundee calling for a full Scottish Football Association investigation.

United yesterday issued a strongly worded statement in staunch support of Ciftci following claims that he bit Dundee midfielder Jim McAlister during Sunday’s televised league derby at Tannadice.

Ciftci is now facing an SFA probe after being accused of biting McAlister on the leg after a clash between the players in the latter stages of the game.

United won 3-0 with two of the goals coming from the under-fire Turkish striker.

McAlister later published a photograph on Instagram showing what he claimed were bite marks on his leg.

However, after Ciftci was questioned about the incident by club officials yesterday, United released a statement not only supporting their player against the allegations, but commending him for his restraint in the face of “quite severe physical and totally unacceptable verbal provocation” during the game.

“Dundee United FC are fully supportive of Nadir Ciftci in relation to allegations reportedly made against him by a Dundee player in the 3-0 derby win on Sunday at Tannadice,” said the statement.

“The club has interviewed Nadir today as the accusation levelled against him is very serious and Dundee United would not condone such behaviour.

“The player is both surprised and upset by the accusation and, on discussing the matter in detail, it is clear to us that the player has not been involved in any such incident. In fact we commend Nadir for his tolerance on the field given some quite severe physical and totally unacceptable verbal provocation.”

The case is set to be examined by SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan and is being viewed as “alleged exceptional misconduct”.

As such, it does not fall within the remit of the SFA’s Fast Track Tribunal process, when an independent panel sits within days of the cited incident to decide whether or not sanctions are required.

In Ciftic’s case, a notice of complaint requires the submission of evidence from both the complainant as well as the alleged guilty party and this could take time to compile. McGlennan must then decide whether the incident warrants a notice of complaint.

Dundee, who travelled down to London last night prior to taking part in former goalkeeper Julian Speroni’s testimonial against Crystal Palace this evening, have not commented on the statement released by their rivals.

But chief executive John Nelms made it clear that they want to see a full investigation into the alleged biting claim carried out.

“There is no place in football for actions like that,” he said. “We refer the matter to the league. They will be informed this morning and we will wait and see what actions they will take.”

The Turkish-born forward successfully challenged bans for allegedly striking Inverness defender Gary Warren with his arm and for kicking Celtic skipper Scott Brown in the head. Both charges were found not proven by an SFA-appointed judicial panel.

Luis Suarez received a seven-game ban for his first biting offence, on PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during his Ajax days. The Uruguay forward subsequently received a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic and a four-month suspension for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.