Rangers: SFA fails in bid to have Simonsen ban increased

Steve Simonsen was found guilty of betting on 55 matches
Simonsen was found guilty of betting on 55 matches

The Scottish Football Association has failed to have Rangers goalkeeper Steve Simonsen's suspension for breaking rules on gambling extended.

The 35-year-old was given a two-match ban - one suspended until the end of the season - after being found guilty of betting on a total of 55 games.

SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan said the ban, issued by an independent panel, was "unduly lenient".

But another independent tribunal upheld the original decision.

Simonsen has not played since the ban was served last month, losing his place to Lee Robinson and then fit-again Cammy Bell.

"The process has been a burden on Steve, both personally and professionally, and we are all glad it is now over and he can concentrate on his football career," said PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart.

And, speaking to BBC's Good Morning Scotland, Wishart said: "The one game suspension that he did serve meant he lost his place in the Rangers first team at that point and he hasn't been able to get it back since.

"So, it has an effect on him in terms of appearance money, and also perhaps even his ability to get a new contract at the club.

"One of the difficult things for everybody to understand is the circumstances behind the charges that were brought to him. I'm actually bound by the SFA judicial panel regulations and not able to explain the mitigating circumstances behind it.

"I thought it was a fair and reasonable suspension from the outset."

This is the first time a compliance officer has appealed against the decision of an independent panel, with regulations enabling them to do so introduced at the start of the season by the SFA.

Rangers chose not to contest the original punishment at the time.