Hibernian to appeal Neil Lennon's five-match ban

Hibernian manager Neil Lennon has been hit with a five-match ban  
Gavin McCafferty

HIBERNIAN have launched an appeal after manager Neil Lennon was hit with a five-match Uefa ban after being charged with "acts of violence against the referee".

Uefa's control, ethics and disciplinary body handed down the punishment in relation to Lennon's dismissal during Hibs' 1-0 Europa League defeat by Brondby on July 14, when he was sent to the stand after protesting over a disallowed goal. Lennon has already served an automatic one-match touchline ban for the second leg in Denmark, which Hibs won 1-0 before going out on penalties.

The additional punishment - and the nature of the charge - came as a shock. There was no apparent clash between Lennon and Spanish referee Juan Martinez Munuera during the game. A club statement read: "Hibernian are aware of the sanction imposed by Uefa on head coach Neil Lennon and are in the process of appealing the suspension. The club will be making no further comment at this stage."

Munuera called Lennon out of his dugout before Brondby took the free-kick and sent him to the stand after Jason Cummings was ruled offside in the 30th minute of the Easter Road encounter. The former Celtic and Bolton manager felt the double punishment was unjust at the time.

Lennon said after the game: "We had a legitimately perfect, brilliant goal disallowed. He's onside and I was angry because, firstly, he [the assistant referee] got it wrong and he wasn't up with play.

"I remonstrated with the linesman and was sent-off for no reason whatsoever. I didn't think the referee had a good game, which is what I expected after looking at his record before the game. The relationship with the two linesmen was poor. I want to appeal it because it's just a piece of nonsense. It's the first time in Europe that I've been sent to the stand, so I'm really irked by that.

"It looked to me like he [Munuera] wanted to be the star of the show rather than the players."

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