POWER FAILURE; SFA Executive Smith Admits He Can't Speed Up Loovens Appeal; SFA Chief Can't Speed Up Wheels of Justice
Byline: PETER JARDINE
SFA supremo Gordon Smith last night admitted he is powerless to change procedures that have left Glenn Loovens playing in fear of a suspension for more than four months.
Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor was charged and then banned by the FA over a four-day period last week for his kick at Arsenal's Robin van Persie.
However, as Adebayor sat out the most dramatic Manchester derby in history at Old Trafford through suspension, Loovens was heading Celtic's last-gasp winner at Parkhead against Hearts to send Tony Mowbray's side top of the SPL. The Dutch defender still does not know if or when he will serve a ban for an alleged kick on Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu in the Old Firm derby at Ibrox on May 9. Ironically, the SFA themselves instigated a trial by television for Loovens barely 72 hours after the game, with referee Craig Thomson having missed the incident on the day.
But now, more than 19 weeks later, no date has yet been set to hear an appeal by the player against the one-match ban subsequently imposed by the disciplinary committee in August.
The SFA say they are putting together a three-man panel with an independent chairman - usually a law Lord - to settle the case. But chief executive Smith last night accepted the wheels of justice are turning far too slowly at Hampden. He said: 'It would be helpful if things were done quicker, I accept that, but it is down to committees and the systems at the SFA. …