Hearts head coach escapes touchline ban

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By ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press

HEARTS head coach Robbie Neilson has escaped a touchline ban despite being found guilty of using “offensive, insulting and abusive language” by the Scottish Football Association.

The 34-year-old, who was nominated for PFA Scotland manager of the year last term, appeared in person at Hampden Park yesterday to present his case to the disciplinary panel.

He plead not guilty to a breach of rule 203 relating to his conduct during Hearts’ feisty 2-2 draw against Rangers on May 2.

Neilson was banished to the stand by referee Calum Murray after reacting furiously to the referee’s failure to award a penalty to his side when Cammy Bell and Osman Sow clashed in the box.

He was found guilty of the charge at yesterday morning’s hearing at the national stadium, but the panel deemed his indiscretion only worthy of a slap on the wrist.

The decision means Neilson will be free to take his place in the dugout when Hearts’ Premiership campaign kicks off in August.

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