The Scottish FA have published details from the Graeme Shinnie red card appeal hearing, explaining why the Aberdeen midfielder received an extra game’s suspension.
Shinnie was sent off during Aberdeen’s win over Ross County last week when, after VAR review, the match official determined that he had used excessive force in a challenge on County’s Jack Baldwin.
Aberdeen were unhappy with the call and appealed the decision, but were further angered when the appeal failed and Shinnie was given an extra one-game ban on top of the three-game suspension because the appeal was considered to have no chance of success.
The Pittodrie club unsuccessfully lobbied for a fresh hearing, and have since said that they will seek to bring “governance change” to remove the rule that allows additional suspension.
The Scottish FA has now revealed how the independent panel reached their decision, showing that the individuals on the panel felt Aberdeen’s claims “did not stack up”.
The written reasons explain that Aberdeen’s defence of Shinnie was submitted with video and photographs to support their argument. The club said that Shinnie “pivots and chases down the loose ball, and prepares to make contact with it, which is at the time no way near to his opponent. He does not lunge in any shape or form, does not engage in any tackle, and makes a clean and successful effort to challenge for the ball, with his eyes remained fixed on it and his foot maintaining a natural position throughout.
The argument continues: “It was submitted that the player made contact with the bottom of the ball, did not use excessive force, and at no point has endangered the safety of his opponent, especially as he bends his knee to avoid a follow through and full-on contact. It was further submitted that the player’s right foot continued in that natural forward motion after contacting the ball, which was deflected off his opponent’s leg.”
Aberdeen pointed out that referee Euan Anderson had a clear view of the incident at the time. They also claimed that Baldwin was partly responsible for the challenge, claiming: “the opponent’s movements directly influenced the player’s, and as such resulted in the incident”.
Referee Anderson, who reviewed the challenge on the pitchside monitor before showing the red card, provided a statement to the hearing saying that he felt Shinnie’s tackle had endangered Baldwin and was considered as serious foul play.
The SFA document reveals that after reviewing the incident, the panel concluded that Aberdeen “had been unsuccessful in demonstrating that an obvious refereeing error had occurred”.
The decision was taken to add to the ban because the appeal had no prospect of success. The panel explained that “based on the evidence presented, the manner of how it was presented and especially suggesting the opposing player’s actions resulted in the incident, the prospects of success of the claim did not stack up.”
The written reasoning notes that any argument that Baldwin was not endangered by the tack was “entirely unreasonable and implausible”. It also rejected Aberdeen’s claim that Shinnie “did not lunge, did not use excessive force, and was in control of his movement”.
Shinnie will now miss Aberdeen’s Premiership clash with Rangers on Sunday and the team’s first three matches after the split.