Rangers: Steve Simonsen banned by SFA for gambling rule breach

Rangers goalkeeper Steve Simonsen
Simonsen attending a hearing at Hampden on Thursday morning

Rangers keeper Steve Simonsen has been banned for two games after being found guilty of betting on 55 games following a hearing before an independent panel.

His two-match punishment for breaching Scottish Football Association gambling rules includes a one-game suspended ban until the end of the season.

The SFA can appeal against the judgement but Rangers say they themselves will not lodge an appeal.

None of the games Simonsen, 35, bet on involved Rangers.

Assistant manager Gordon Durie hopes the outcome of the hearing will send out a message to other players not to bet on football matches.

The notice of complaint issued to Simonsen by the SFA detailed bets on 18 matches last season and 37 in the current campaign.

SFA disciplinary rule 33 prohibits players, coaches, club officials and referees in Scotland from betting on football anywhere in the world.

With Hibernian visiting Rangers on Friday evening, Simonsen's immediate one-match ban makes him unavailable for the Scottish Championship fixture.

In September 2013, Simonsen's Ibrox team-mate Ian Black was fined and given a 10-match ban, seven of which were suspended, for a gambling breach.

Former England Under-21 goalkeeper Simonsen joined Rangers in 2013 following a short spell at Dundee and having played for several clubs in his homeland, including Everton, Stoke City and Sheffield United.

He has amassed over 400 appearances in his senior career and this term has kept goal for Rangers while Cammy Bell has been out injured.