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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 September 2005, 08:06 GMT 09:06 UK
Dougal unhappy with Lennon's ban
Neil Lennon confronted the officials at Ibrox in August
Referee Stuart Dougal says he is disappointed at the leniency of the ban given to Celtic captain Neil Lennon for his misconduct against Rangers.

The SFA imposed a three-match ban on Lennon for abusing Dougal and jostling his assistant James Bee.

But Dougal believes the length of the ban sends out the wrong message.

"This was about the future protection of Scotland's referees and that's where the feeling of disappointment comes in," he told the Daily Record.

"To be honest I have not had enough time yet to fully absorb the decision but it is fair to say I am disappointed.

"I'm not disappointed for my own sake because this was never about Stuart Dougal versus Neil Lennon or Stuart Dougal versus Celtic Football Club."

Former referee Willie Young also believes Lennon's three-match ban is too lenient and will disappoint Scotland's match officials.

I think Scotland's referees will not be over the moon about the outcome
Former ref Willie Young

He says guidelines were brought in by the Scottish FA after a ban on Hearts' Saulius Mikoliunas was reduced.

"In such circumstances, where there is physical confrontation with an official, they should be considering a five-match suspension," said Young.

"I am surprised that that is not what they went for."

Young recalled that an SFA appeals tribunal had "watered down" the ban on Mikoliunas from five matches to three on top of a three-match suspension incurred for two red cards at the end of Hearts' game against Rangers.

That decision had angered officials.

And Young, who retired at the end of last season, believes there will be a similar response to the ban given to Lennon for confronting referee Dougal after Celtic's defeat by Rangers.

"I think they will not be over the moon about the outcome," he said.

"Not that they have anything against Neil Lennon.

"It is the nature of the incident that will have concerned them and the fact that it has occurred in Scotland now twice in six months."

Uefa banned Wayne Rooney for two matches on Tuesday for sarcastically applauding referee Kim Milton Nielsen after he was booked.

Lennon receives three-match ban
20 Sep 05 |  Celtic
Mikoliunas decision angers refs
02 Apr 05 |  Heart of Midlothian


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