Former Stenhousemuir player Jonathan Tiffoney has been charged by the Scottish FA with making abusive comments to a rival player about his mental health.
Albion Rovers forward David Cox walked out of a game between the sides after a conflict with Tiffoney, and announced his immediate retirement from the game. He claimed that the 29-year-old had mocked him over his mental health struggles.
Tiffoney denied the allegation and complained that he had been verbally abused by Cox during the game.
The Scottish FA investigated the incident and has charged Tiffoney with excessive misconduct and also with using “threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour”. No action was taken against Cox, who has retired and is not under the jurisdiction of the game’s governing body.
The player will now face a disciplinary hearing on June 3 when he could be fined or hit with a lengthy ban from playing.
Cox has spoken openly in the past about his troubles with depression and anxiety and how he contemplated suicide several years ago. He alleged that Tiffoney had used those incidents against him.
In a video posted to Facebook after the game, he said Stenhousemuir’s “bench” had abused him, with Tiffoney saying that he should have “done it right the first time”.
Cox, who began his professional career in 2008 and has played for nine different clubs, has said previously that abuse from fans and players had made him consider giving up playing.
He said: “I tried to speak to the referees about it but they didn’t want to know because they didn’t hear it … So I am going to do something. I am leaving the game.”
Tiffoney described reports that he attacked Cox’s mental health as “simply untrue” and is expected to contest the Scottish FA charges.