Falkirk’s Joe McKee hit with SFA four-match ban for abusing former Rangers & Hibs midfielder Dean Shiels

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FALKIRK midfielder Joe McKee has been hit with a four-match ban for abusing Dean Shiels over the Dunfermine player’s missing eye.

A Scottish FA judicial panel hearing at Hampden on Tuesday found the 24-year-old guilty of ‘excessive misconduct’ when the teams met in a stormy Irn-Bru Cup tie two months ago.

Bairns team-mate Kevin O’Hara, who had offered an apology to Shiels after the ill-tempered clash on October 7, was served with an eight-game ban after accepting the same charges last month.

Supported by chairman Margaret Lang at a reconvened meeting that lasted over six hours, McKee pleaded his innocence but could not convince the panel.

Shiels was sent-off in Dunfermline’s 2-0 defeat for a wild challenge on McKee, but the allegations of abuse did not emerge until after the league match between the sides on November 4.

The SFA had agreed to requests from both sides not to release news of the notices of complaints until that game had been played.

McKee, who is currently sidelined with an injury, will now be unavailable until the home encounter with Queen of the South on December 30.

The length of suspensions mean both players will be back in time for the next ‘derby’ against bitter rivals Dunfermline at East End Park on January 2.

Falkirk decided against appealing O’Hara’s sentence last month after asking for the written judgement and it remains to be seen whether they will similarly accept McKee’s censure.

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