Neil Lennon sweats over derby ban

Celtic manager Neil Lennon is in danger of being forced to watch the New Year Old Firm derby from the stand after being told his appeal against a touchline ban will be heard on Monday.

The original meeting of the SFA's disciplinary committee should have gone ahead last Tuesday, 7 December, but had to be postponed due to the difficulties of the Arctic weather that swept Scotland.

The new date leaves the Northern Irishman sweating over his place in the dugout for the Ibrox encounter with Rangers on 2 January and for the meeting with Motherwell on 29 December.

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The sanction would be due to kick in seven days from the meeting should Lennon's appeal fail.

Lennon was hit with the automatic two-match suspension after being sent to the stand during the 2-0 defeat to Hearts last month.

The controversial game saw midfielder Joe Ledley red-carded and the Parkhead side denied a penalty when Ryan Stevenson appeared to handle in the box, both of which angered Lennon.

Lennon decided to contest that ban, but the 39-year-old, who became embroiled in a heated exchange with fourth official Steven McLean, also faces a charge of "excessive misconduct" following referee Craig Thomson's match report into events at Tynecastle.

If found guilty of that extra offence, it could carry another two-game penalty, which would see Lennon remain in the stand for the Scottish Cup tie with Berwick Rangers on 9 January and the SPL meeting with Hibs at Easter Road on 15 January unless he appeals again.

The disciplinary committee meeting comes on top of the news that the SFA's general purposes committee are due to meet tomorrow to consider Lennon's post-match comments on Thomson's handling of the Hearts game at Tynecastle on 10 November.