Scottish FA throw out James Keatings appeal verdict

A panel member claimed to have made their decision without reviewing all evidence.

Scottish FA throw out James Keatings appeal verdict SNS

The Scottish FA has said it will hold a fresh appeal hearing over Inverness striker James Keating’s caution for diving, after cancelling the original verdict.

Keatings was shown a second yellow card for simulation by referee Greg Aitken during his side’s Challenge Cup semi-final against Rangers Colts last week. The subsequent sending-off meant that the player would miss the final against Raith Rovers.

Inverness were adamant that Keatings didn’t dive and appealed against the caution but at a disciplinary hearing on Wednesday, the referee’s original decision was upheld and Keating’s suspension remained in place.

That panel decision drew widespread criticism and Inverness said they were “incredulous and furious”. Figure within the game said that the decision was evidence that the disciplinary process needed a complete overhaul.

Now, the Scottish FA say that a member of the independent panel that heard the appeal has come forward to say that he did not review all the evidence before reaching his decision.

The governing body has ruled the decision invalid and Keatings’ appeal will now be heard again by a new three-man panel.

A Scottish FA statement read: “

“T​he Scottish FA’s Chief Executive, Ian Maxwell, has received notification that the tribunal convened to hear the Claim for Wrongful Caution raised by Inverness Caledonian Thistle on behalf of James Keatings failed to implement its duties as per the Judicial Panel Protocol.

“Specifically, one of the panel members has advised that, despite raising no concerns throughout the process, they did not undertake their obligations with respect to the consideration of all the available evidence.

“While the Fast Track Claims process is by definition an appeal, and therefore not open to further consideration, none the less the Chief Executive and Presidential team, Rod Petrie and Mike Mulraney, are unanimous that the tribunal outcome cannot be considered competent in light of the disclosure from the panel member and that the input from that panel member must be withdrawn.

“With that in mind, and only in extremis based on the information provided by the panel member, the determination cannot be considered valid. Therefore, the Judicial Panel Secretary has been instructed to convene a new tribunal and a fresh date will be set in due course.

“The initial outcome is rendered invalid by the acknowledgement of a panel member of their failure to dispose of their duties in respect of section 13.13.4 of the Judicial Panel Protocol and, in particular, the following paragraph:

The Determination of the Claim shall be made by the Fast Track Tribunal by examining and deliberating upon: (ii) all of the evidence and submissions delivered by the Claimant in support of the Notice of Claim.

“The Scottish FA upholds the independence of the Judicial Panel Protocol but cannot in this instance consider the tribunal verdict competent, based on the admitted failure of a panel member to adhere to the process as outlined.

“The panel member in question has subsequently been withdrawn from the pool of potential panel members for all future tribunals.”

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