Football/Soccer

Soccer shorts: Celtic striker Ciftci handed six-game ban

New Celtic signing Nadir Ciftci will be banned for the first six games of the season after being found guilty of a biting offence
PA Reporter

CELTIC striker Nadir Ciftci will miss the first six games of the domestic season after being found guilty of a biting offence.

The summer signing from Dundee United received an eight-game ban – two of which are suspended – after being found guilty of biting Jim McAlister during a Dundee derby on the final day of last season.

The 23-year-old Turkish striker had denied the offence but was found guilty of excessive misconduct by a judicial panel convened by the Scottish Football Association.

The allegations emerged hours after United’s 3-0 Tannadice win on May 24 when a photograph appearing to show a bite mark on McAlister’s leg was displayed on social media.

The Scottish Professional Football League later broadcast footage of the incident on its official YouTube channel, with McAlister clearly heard claiming that Ciftci (above) had bit him.

McAlister, who has now left Dundee, had tackled a grounded Ciftci before the referee’s whistle blew. Images show Ciftci with his head up close and facing McAlister’s leg.

The SPFL video shows McAlister pointing to his leg and shouting to referee Bobby Madden that he had been bitten. A pitchside microphone is less than 10 yards away.

The striker will miss Celtic’s six Ladbrokes Premiership fixtures in August, including a trip to Tannadice, meaning his first home game in the league could be against Dundee on September 19.

But he will remain available for Celtic’s Champions League qualifying campaign after making his debut in their 2-0 first leg win over Stjarnan in the second qualifying round.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, meanwhile, hopes the imminent arrival of Christian Benteke will instantly boost his side’s firepower.

The Aston Villa striker is believed to have undergone the first part of a two-stage medical with Reds team doctor Andy Massey, who flew in from Adelaide after leaving the club’s pre-season tour early, in London yesterday with the process continuing tomorrow.

Rodgers made the Belgian his primary target after watching Liverpool score just 52 times in the Premier League last season – down from 101 the previous campaign when Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge almost fired them to the title.

On Sunday, Liverpool concluded negotiations on a payment structure which will see them pay £16m up front for Benteke (above)and the remainder of his £32.5m release clause over the length of his contract.

“It was just clear we needed to score more goals,” said Rodgers.

“We were down on our goals. Overall it is the balance we need to improve offensively and defensively and the players that will contribute to both.”

Finally, Rangers have completed the double signing of James Tavernier and Martyn Waghorn from Wigan.

The pair have both signed three-year contracts.

They join former Latics team-mate Rob Kiernan in moving to Ibrox this summer.

Powerful former Sunderland and Leicester forward Waghorn has struck eight goals in 18 months with Wigan while Tavernier spent the second half of last season on loan with Bristol City.

The right-back started his career at Newcastle and has also had loan spells with Gateshead, Carlisle, MK Dons, Sheffield Wednesday, Shrewsbury and Rotherham.

Football/Soccer

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