SPL news

SFA downgrade Stewart red card

December 11, 2009

Hearts captain Michael Stewart is available to face Dundee United this weekend after he had his red card at Hamilton reduced to a caution by the Scottish Football Association.

Michael Stewart
GettyImagesMichael Stewart no longer faces a three-match ban

The Hearts captain was sent off in the Jambos' 2-1 defeat to Hamilton shortly after the break for lashing out at Alex Neil for a clumsy tackle. But an SFA review panel examined footage of incident at New Douglas Park and determined it warranted only a yellow card for "adopting a threatening and/or aggressive attitude''.

Hearts finished the match with nine men after defender Ismael Bouzid was dismissed for a second yellow card, and a post-match brawl in the tunnel prompted another four red cards issued by referee David Somers after the final whistle.

• SFA probe tunnel brawl

Stewart appealed the verdict and referee David Somers admitted he had been unhappy with his original decision, referring the matter to the review panel. He therefore escapes a three-match ban and is available to play this weekend.

On Thursday Hearts boss Czaba Laszlo wrote to the SFA asking for a formal explanation for the performance of the officials after the controversial match.

• Hearts want referees answer