Josh Meekings: Judicial panel were "not entitled" to enforce ban

Caley Thistle's Josh Meekings denies Leigh Griffiths a goal
Leigh Griffiths' header hit the hand of Josh Meekings

Inverness Caledonian Thistle's Josh Meekings was cleared of a potential ban because the judicial panel "was not entitled" to consider it further.

Thursday's tribunal outcome did not enforce a retrospective one-game ban for Meekings' handball.

That offence prevented Leigh Griffiths putting Celtic 2-0 ahead in the semi-final, which Inverness won 3-2.

In a note of reasons on Friday, the judicial panel's chair said officials saw the incident but not the hand-ball.

A judicial panel statement issued by the Scottish Football Association said: "Further to the judicial panel hearing yesterday involving Josh Meekings, the panel considered initial submissions from Mr Meekings' solicitor.

"In particular it was argued by him that under protocol the judicial panel was not entitled to determine the matter.

"The panel considered that as the incident (but not the actual alleged sending-off offence of handball) had been seen by one or more of the officials it was not entitled to consider the matter further.

"It accordingly dismissed the complaint without any consideration of the merits of the incident or the decision arrived at by the referee."

The former SFA compliance officer, Vincent Lunny, believes his successor Tony McGlennan was right to bring the case against Meekings.

If Meekings' ban had been followed through, the 22-year-old would have missed the Scottish Cup final against Falkirk on 30 May.