RACISM CASE: Tonev, left, and Logan (PA)
ALEKSANDAR TONEV will have to wait to see if his seven-match ban for racially abusing Shay Logan is lifted after he appealed against the Scottish Football Association’s punishment.
The 24-year-old Celtic winger was found guilty of using racist language towards the Aberdeen player during a game at Celtic Park in September.
Tonev has maintained that he is innocent and, following a special appeal hearing yesterday evening (Dec 4), the SFA said it would make a ruling within two weeks.
On loan at Celtic from Aston Villa, Tonev is still available to play until the SFA reach a decision.
Speaking before Thursday’s tribunal, Celtic manager Ronny Deila said: “We have to be sure about the things that have actually been said.
“If not, then it's a very hard penalty to get when we don't know what is right or wrong. It could be a misunderstanding.”
Offering further support to his player, he added: “We will have to do everything in our power to get this away from Alex, we believe him.
“It's been word against word and they are thinking the other guy is telling the truth and Tonev is lying, and for me that's not how a court should be. For me it should be real proof.
“We don't believe Aleksandar is a racist.”
It has been mooted that Celtic will take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, based in Switzerland, if the SFA upholds the ban.