Michael Higdon ban disappoints Motherwell manager Stuart McCall

Motherwell striker Michael Higdon
Higdon failed in his appeal against a one-match ban

Motherwell boss Stuart McCall thinks Michael Higdon has been hard done by after a Scottish FA panel upheld a ban for making an offensive gesture.

The striker will miss Saturday's match against St Johnstone due to his goal celebration against Dundee United.

"If the referee had seen it, he might have given a yellow card but that would have been harsh," said McCall.

"To miss a game for a gesture in the middle of park, nowhere near any fans, I find it difficult to accept."

Higdon scored late to level the match at Tannadice last Saturday and McCall told BBC Scotland that the player's reaction was "a celebration of frustration and delight".

He also pointed out that Higdon has celebrated in a similar fashion throughout his career.

"They gave us a fair hearing but the decision went against us," McCall added after attending the SFA's fast-track tribunal at Hampden.

"I wouldn't have been here if I didn't believe it wasn't offensive. I can't see who it has offended.

"Having spoken to managers and referees, they all believed we had a very good case.

"In fairness to the panel, they said it was certainly low-end offensive but offensive all the same.

"That's a matter of opinion. There's no way it can be compared to things that have gone on previously. Yet Michael misses a game."

Earlier in the week, McCall warned against "trial by Sportscene", questioning whether the SFA's compliance officer was making decisions from his own viewing of matches or from what is shown on BBC Scotland's Scottish Premier League highlights programme.

"I had a good chat with [compliance officer] Vincent Lunny and he seems like a decent guy," explained McCall.

"He gets told of things from all kinds of sources - people writing in emails, other people seeing it on TV and so on.

"I'm not saying it's trial by television. I'm just disappointed the ban has been upheld because we definitely felt that wasn't the way to go."