STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

Hibs boss criticises SFA after club punished for fielding banned player

Hibernian boss Lee Johnson has questioned the Scottish FA’s methods after the Easter Road club fielded...

Hibs boss criticises Scottish FA after club punished for fielding ineligible player SNS Group

Hibernian boss Lee Johnson has questioned the Scottish FA’s methods after the Easter Road club fielded a suspended player against Morton in the Premier Sports Cup.

Hibs were fined and forced to forfeit the match by competition organisers SPFL after Rocky Bushiri played in the game when he should have been serving a one-match ban for accumulated yellow cards.

Though the club apologised for the mistake which Hibs owner Ron Gordon said was down to “a boo boo” by the football operations department, Johnson thinks the Scottish FA, who are responsible for disciplinary processes, should be more proactive and hold some of the responsibility.

Bushiri has now been issued with a notice of complaint by the Scottish FA, with the rulebook suggesting that he could face an addition suspension on top of re-imposing the original one-game ban.

 “To be fair, I think the Scottish FA have got to have to look at themselves, to be honest with you,” the Hibs manager said.

“Obviously I have come up from England and I am looking at no fourth officials in games. The extranet system should have a flagging system. It wasn’t just us that got done by that, it was three or four clubs.

“In England there’s an extranet system that, if there is a suspension pending, there’s a flag that comes up and everybody gets notified in the football club. It’s not difficult to do that, it’s just admin.

“At the same time we’ve got to take responsibility, first on a football level, and then on an administration level.”

Suspensions for upcoming games are published online for clubs by the Scottish FA and it’s understood Bushiri was included on the club extranet system before the Morton match.

Johnson, who was appointed in the summer, added that the game in Scotland needed to improve in general.

He added: “There’s things up here that I’m seeing that I am thinking: ‘Come one, we can sharpen up’.

“This is the top league in a top country, full of passion, full of great footballers, full of history, and we need to sharpen up.”