Lee Johnson slams SFA after club sanctioned for fielding suspended player
Hibernian manager Lee Johnson has hit out at the Scottish Football Association after his club fielded a suspended player in their draw with Morton.
Hibs were penalized by the Scottish Professional Football League with a 3-0 defeat after including Rocky Bushiri in their starting line-up as the Belgian defender was handed an automatic one-game ban after taking reservations in each of their previous two games. .
The punishment proved academic as Hibs would have left the competition anyway, but the situation was embarrassing for the club following a disappointing start to Johnson’s reign over the park.
The SFA sends a list of suspensions to clubs every week, but Johnson claimed there should have been an additional warning after Bushiri was suspended immediately on the Sunday before the midweek game.
Bushiri and Hibs now face an SFA disciplinary hearing on August 11 after breaching the suspension.
After a 1-0 friendly win over Norwich, Johnson said: “To be fair, I think the Scottish FA have to look at each other, to be honest with you.
“Obviously I’m from England and I don’t watch any fourth officials in games. The extranet system should have a flagging system. It’s not just us who got screwed, it’s three or four clubs .
“In England there is an extranet system which if there is a pending suspension there is a flag that pops up and everyone is warned in the football club. It’s not hard to do, it’s just administration.
The former Barnsley, Bristol City and Sunderland manager added: “At the same time we have to take responsibility, first at a football level and then at an administrative level.
“But there are things here that I see and think, ‘Come on, we can refine.’
“It’s the best league in a top country, full of passion, full of great footballers, full of history, and we have to refine ourselves.”
A first-half strike from Elias Melkersen secured Hibs victory against the Canaries, with Johnson fielding a largely youthful side in the second half.
Goalkeeper David Marshall missed the game with an illness bug while Chris Cadden sat out with a thigh injury that will be scanned. Aiden McGeady left early with a minor knee injury.
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