Aleksander Tonev loses racism ban appeal

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Celtic winger Aleksander Tonev has lost his appeal against a ban for racially abusing an opponent.

The Bulgarian, currently on a season-long loan from Aston Villa, was accused by Aberdeen full back Shay Logan of saying: “Don’t touch me, you black ****.”

The incident occurred on September 13 and Logan immediately informed his captain Mark Reynolds, referee Bobby Madden and manager Derek McInnes.

Tonev was initially handed a seven match ban by the Scottish Football Association in October but he was allowed to carry on playing while his appeal was considered by a tribunal.

However as the tribunal have rejected his appeal he will serve six more games of his suspension, having already served one match.

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The SFA published the report from both panels that examined the case, the report called Logan an “impressive witness” and said “he gave his evidence in a careful and measured manner.

“He gave clear and unequivocal evidence that Mr Tonev had used the language complained of and that it had been targeted at him.”

The panel though were critical of Tonev: “His evidence on his understanding of the language said to have been used was particularly unsatisfactory.

“The impression was of a witness giving a less than full account of his actual understanding, and (it) seemed to the tribunal to be an inherently improbable account.”

Refuting the result

Tony McGlennan, the compliance officer, said that: “Mr Logan’s account was, on the balance of probabilities, more probable than that of Mr Tonev.”

Celtic issued an immediate response: “Celtic Football Club is extremely disappointed by the outcome of the Scottish FA’s Appeal Tribunal.

“We do not consider that any player should be found guilty of such a grave offence on the basis of the evidence presented in this case.”

The Glasgow side have said that they will be speaking to the SFA to address the issue and maintain that, even though Logan did not make false accusations, Tonev is not a racist.

Tonev, who has made six Scottish Premier League appearances so far this season, will next be available for the away game against Ross County on January 24.

The Glaswegians currently hold a six point lead ahead of Inverness at the top of the SPL with 38 points from 16 games. 

Celtic will also be facing a UEFA disciplinary hearing in February after a match in Croatia against Dinamo Zagreb which saw a flare lit in the away end.

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Shaleum Logan
Shaleum Logan

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