Hearts boss Paulo Sergio given five-match touchline ban

Hearts manager Paulo Sergio was sent off by referee Alan Muir
Sergio did not go quietly when dismissed by referee Alan Muir

Hearts manager Paulo Sergio is to serve a five-match touchline ban following his stormy dismissal from the dugout last month.

Sergio was sent to the stands by Alan Muir during his side's 1-0 defeat by Kilmarnock at Tynecastle on 29 October.

The standard penalty for such an offence is a two-match suspension.

But Sergio's heated response to his sending off prompted a notice of complaint from the Scottish Football Association's compliance officer.

And the Portuguese manager, who did not attend the hearing at Hampden Park, will not be appealing against the penalty.

"I am angry at myself for the way I reacted," he told Hearts' website.

"I have learned my lesson. This is only the second time this has happened to me in my career.

"My focus is on the game against Dundee United and doing what is best for Hearts."

Sergio will now sit out Scottish Premier League fixtures with Dundee United, Inverness, St Johnstone, Celtic and Dunfermline, keeping him away from the dug-out until Christmas Eve.

He was charged with breaching rule 203, which relates to misconduct by a member of team staff, including acts such as continued use of offensive, abusing or insulting language or behaviour and adoption of aggressive behaviour towards a match official.

Earlier this month, Sergio escaped with a warning for his comments about match official Iain Brines.

The Tynecastle boss was critical of Brines for disallowing a goal in a League Cup defeat by Ayr United and later questioned his appointment as assistant referee for Hearts' league visit to Dunfermline.

Hearts began a media blackout, issuing all communication through their official website, following the initial disciplinary proceedings relating to Brines.

The stance has been maintained and it is uncertain when Sergio or anyone from the club will next speak publicly.

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