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Hibernian’s Paul McGinn handed two-match ban over referee comments

Hibernian v Celtic – Premier Sports Cup – Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Hibernian defender Paul McGinn has received a two-match ban for branding referee John Beaton “inept” following last month’s Premier Sports Cup final.

McGinn landed himself in trouble after hitting out at the official’s decision to allow Celtic’s second goal to stand as they beat Hibs 2-1 at Hampden on December 19.

He criticised Beaton for penalising Paul Hanlon for his part in an aerial challenge on Liel Abada, and also felt he was wrong to allow Tom Rogic to take the subsequent free-kick quickly as Hibs paused for a substitution.

“He has no control over the situation,” said McGinn after the game at Hampden.

“It’s not a foul and then the fourth official is holding the board. I think Jamie Murphy could stand over the ball, as you do, but he steps away from it, to assume ‘sub’.

“(Beaton) just lets it happen and the goal goes in. I don’t know if you see me running to him straight away and get myself booked. But it’s just inept.

“Even 90 seconds later, Celtic are going to make a sub and (Anthony) Ralston takes a quick throw-in, and he whistles it back for the sub to happen.

“I ran to him and just said ‘What’s going on? There is no way we would have got that the other way. No way’. That’s why I got booked.”

McGinn’s outburst resulted in a notice of complaint from the Scottish Football Association. At a disciplinary hearing on Thursday, the defender was deemed by an independent panel to have “indicated bias or incompetence” on the part of Beaton.

McGinn will now miss Hibs’ next two games, away to Celtic in the cinch Premiership on Monday and at home to Cove Rangers in the Scottish Cup next Thursday.

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