Violent Conduct! Steven ‘Groper’ MacLean set for two match ban

HEARTS groper Steven Maclean is facing a 2 match ban for violent conduct as the SFA’s Compliance Officer Clare Whyte is set to review the striker’s ‘hand ball’ assault on Celtic midfielder Eboue Kouassi.

Incredibly the Hearts forward tried to laugh off his indecent assault and suggested that Celtic would try to make more of it that is merited.

If any of walk of life such conduct would almost certainly lead to a Police charge against the offender – it is an entirely unacceptable in 2018 and the SFA must set down a clear marker that this kind of underhand behaviour is not a joke and has no part in the game.

BT Sport’s cameras clearly caught MacLean’s offence which resulted in the Celtic Star rolling around in pain. Many supporters at the ground thought that Kouassi had gone down too easily but they didn’t get the close ups that the television viewers saw.

Maclean was already on a yellow card but presumably referee Willie Collum never say him handle the Celtic player’s privates, or he would certainly have issued another card, either a second yellow or a straight red.

The fact that Collum missed the assault means that Clare Whyte can and almost certainly will take action.

But no review will take place before Hearts welcome Hibs to Tynecastle on Wednesday so MacLean will be available for that match, meaning that any suspension will take effect from Saturday – when Hearts travel to the east end of Glasgow to play Celtic.

The 36 year old Hearts player is also lucky if he doesn’t end up helping Police with their inquiries, should the incident be reported.

Incredibly he tried to make a joke about it all, describing the incident as ‘fitba.’

It was just a laugh. It was a wee wind-up. It’s fitba, eh.

“Jesus, if I went down every time a centre-half did that to me I’d be on my backside all day!

“If you think about how many times a centre-half has a dunt on me, I’d be on my arse all game.

“No doubt they will try to play it up, but it was nothing.”

It’s unlikely that Clare Whyte will think that it was nothing.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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