UPHELD: Tonev, left, and Logan (PA)
CELTIC WINGER Aleksander Tonev’s appeal against a seven-match for racially abusing Aberdeen’s Shay Logan has been rejected by the Scottish Football Association.
The appeal tribunal upheld October’s ruling that found the 24-year-old Bulgarian, who is on-loan from Aston Villa, guilty of using “offensive, insulting and abusive language of a racist nature” towards Logan during a league game in September.
Despite the decision to dismiss Tonev’s appeal after the panel reviewed all the evidence submitted by the player’s legal representatives, Celtic are still backing him and claiming he is not racist.
Celtic manager Ronny Deila said: “We don't believe Aleksandar is a racist.
“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.”
He added: “For me, it should be real proof. This is a very serious accusation and you have to absolutely know you're right.
“If it's still going to go on and there's no proof, we will have to do everything we can to help Alex.”
The panel have released a 3,500-word document explaining why they decided to upheld the verdict and ban against Tonev.
During the match in which Tonev abused the Dons defender, Logan complained to the referee Bobby Madden and his captain Mark Reynolds that he had been subjected to a racist insult.