sport

Shiels plays down talk of ban

Kilmarnock boss Kenny Shiels says suggestions the Scottish Football Association will hit him with yet another touchline ban are "ridiculous".

The Northern Irishman was slapped with a four-match punishment after claiming fourth official Andrew Dallas had "fabricated evidence" against him, after he was sent to the stand during a match with St Johnstone in November.

But reports claim he could now be in hot water again after Hampden compliance officer Vince Lunny took exception to comments he made in a newspaper column.

Shiels responded to a question about what he hoped to see in the year ahead in an article in the Daily Record three weeks ago, saying "impartiality would be good".

The Rugby Park boss confirmed he had been asked to explain his words but insists he has nothing to worry about.

Shiels said: "It is frustrating for me. In my New Year's day column (in the Daily Record), they asked me what were my wishes for 2013, and I replied by saying impartiality and a level playing field, for the league table to become tight and that it was going very well at the minute because there is little between the teams.

"Now they want me to explain that. I got the notification through last week.

"But I think we know it's not going to be another hearing or a ban because it is ridiculous asking me to explain that.

"You guys now have to draw your own conclusions whether I am being victimised or not. I can't say that."

Shiels also refused to back down in his row with Dallas - son of former World Cup official Hugh.

SFA rules did not require the Scottish Premier League referee to attend Thursday's Hampden hearing but Shiels - who was handed a two-match ban plus a further two-game sanction that had been suspended from a previous offence - suggested the fact he didn't appear now pours doubt on his version of events.

"I don't think people are really aware of what happened," he said.

"It has come out in the press but it is most important that we put it in its proper detail.

"I was summoned to go and explain why I said what I did - that the fourth official fabricated evidence to incriminate me.

"So my solicitor summoned the fourth official to come and defend himself. I wanted that opportunity to show the panel that what I said was 100 per cent true, that he had fabricated evidence.

"He refused to come to the tribunal. I thought that would have influenced the panel to say, 'Well, there must be truth in this (because he's not willing to come and put his side forward)'. That was noted by his absence.

"The leniency of how they punished me sends out the suggestion that I was telling the truth.

"I was telling the truth and obviously I will say that."