Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has revealed the club decided not to appeal against Cedric Kipre’s Hampden red card after wasting time and money on previous wrongful dismissal claims.
Kipre conceded a penalty after making contact with Scott Sinclair with his arm before the Celtic winger went down in the box during Sunday’s 2-0 Betfred Cup final defeat by Celtic.
The decision means Kipre will miss a League Cup tie next season - in the group stages if Motherwell do not qualify for Europe. But Robinson argued that the French defender might be sold on before then anyway.
The 20-year-old will be free to line up against Celtic on Wednesday in the Ladbrokes Premiership and not face a trip to Hampden for a hearing on Thursday before another game against the league leaders two days later.
Robinson said: “It’s very simple. We have appealed numerous decisions and we’ve wasted a lot of time and money. Another reason is we want Cedric Kipre totally focused on Wednesday night and Saturday. We’ve got big, big games.
“And the reality is his ban is next season, in the first round of the cup. By then he could be in the Premier League, because he’s going to be a top, top footballer. We need to concern ourselves with the here and now.”
Motherwell remain aggrieved over referee Craig Thomson’s decision, although the Celtic winger insisted he “felt a tug”.
But they lost one of two challenges after Thomson sent off three of their players against St Johnstone in August. And, given there was some contact, the burden of proving an injustice is difficult at a Scottish Football Association judicial panel hearing, unless a referee admits he has made a mistake.
An unsuccessful appeal would have cost Motherwell £500 and Robinson said: “We are not a club that can throw money around quite easily. We have appealed numerous things where we thought we had good evidence and they have been turned against us. So we’re not gong to go that way this time.
“We are going to make sure Cedric is focused. Instead of being in hearings, he will be on the training pitch.”
It is understood Sinclair will not face any retrospective punishment amid accusations that he dived. The SFA compliance officer does not now instigate simulation charges unless there was no contact whatsoever.
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers defended Sinclair immediately after the game.
“Scott’s not a diver,” he told several newspapers. “There was contact. I’ve seen it again, it’s a definite penalty.
“I think Scott was clever, there’s no doubt, but I think probably what the referee is looking at is that there was no intent for the ball. I think that was enough to award the penalty.”