Celtic manager Neil Lennon maintained his media silence on Friday – after he was hit with another ban by the Scottish Football Association.
Lennon and Rangers coach Ally McCoist will both watch next weekend’s Co-Op Insurance Cup final between their sides at Hampden Park from the stands after their recent Old Firm altercation.
The pair were charged with misconduct by the SFA after their touchline row at the end of Celtic’s 1-0 Scottish Cup win over Rangers at Parkhead.
The SFA have handed Lennon another four game ban from the dug-out while McCoist is suspended for two matches with two of the three Rangers players sent-off during and after the fixture also set to be further punished.
El-Hadji Diouf and Rangers team-mate Madjid Bougherra have also been reported to the SFA’s disciplinary committee for “misconduct of a significantly serious nature."
A Scottish FA statement read: “The Scottish FA can confirm that Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager, and Ally McCoist, the Rangers assistant manager, have been charged with misconduct relating to the Scottish Cup fifth-round replay.
“Mr Lennon will incur an automatic four-match suspension from the technical area, owing to a previous charge of misconduct, while Mr McCoist will incur a two-match suspension.
“In addition, the Rangers players, El-Hadji Diouf and Madjid Bougherra, have been informed that they will be reported to the disciplinary committee for misconduct of a significantly serious nature. These will be considered at the committee’s next meeting, on April 12.”
Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell refused to condone Lennon’s behavior ahead in that game of the sixth Old Firm derby of the season next week but he did point to the pressure his boss is currently under.
Lawwell said: “There was no way we could condone Neil’s behavior. He slipped below the very high standards we have at Celtic and he recognizes that.
“In terms of mitigating factors we need to understand what’s going on in his life at the moment.
“He’s a man who is under enormous pressure as Celtic manager, but other than that he’s got to put up with the live ammunition going through the post, the bomb threats, 24-hour surveillance, the security measures the club are putting in place with Strathclyde Police.
“It’s quite a lot to take on at the moment.”
Celtic face Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup quarter-final on Sunday but Lennon again missed the traditional pre-match media briefing on Friday.
The Celtic boss hasn’t spoken publicly since the last Rangers game and his assistant manager Johan Mjallby faced the press.
The former Celtic defender said: “Neil is in a good mood. He just feels that he has been in the limelight and been the focus of the off-field circumstances so he wants the focus to be on football and the team.
“That is why I am taking the press conference. I think you will see him back very soon. He is a strong character.
“I don’t think it is difficult at all for him but I think he wants to focus on the team and on the players because, even if he is to be suspended, he is still the main man and that doesn’t change the dynamics.”
Changes have been forced on Lennon ahead of the quarter-final with centre-back Daniel Majstorovic ruled out for up to eight weeks after fracturing a toe on his right foot.
Defender Mark Wilson and skipper Scott Brown are suspended but striker Gary Hooper could return from a knee injury.