Caley Thistle say they are “astonished” after their appeal against defender Danny Devine’s red card failed.
Devine will miss Friday’s Premiership play-off final first leg against St Johnstone after the Scottish FA threw out the club’s appeal against his dismissal against Arbroath last weekend.
The 29-year-old centre half was controversially shown a straight red by this weekend’s Scottish Cup final referee Willie Collum at Gayfield, before the Highlanders went on to win the tie on penalties.
The Northern Irishman was deemed to have made a last-man challenge on forward Jack Hamilton, a decision widely criticised and left ICT up against it with the scoreline locked at 0-0.
Inverness will host 11th-placed Premiership side Saints on Friday, before playing the return leg at McDiarmid Park on Monday.
In a strongly-worded statement, Caley Jags said: “We are astonished to report that our appeal against Danny Devine’s red card against Arbroath has been turned down by the three person SFA Fast Track Tribunal panel and Danny will now be forced to miss the first leg of the Premiership play-off final.
Club Statement: Danny Devine Appeal pic.twitter.com/f6KFSH7RnE
— Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (@ICTFC) May 18, 2022
“We mentioned in our statement on Monday that we would also have appealed the incredible red card decision given by the match referee against Wallace Duffy, who is also now out of the first leg play-off final, but that the rules did not allow for this.
“Everyone at ICTFC is shocked and dismayed that despite widespread universal condemnation of both red cards from all across the game on the night, and in the days since Friday’s game, that due to these decisions we will once again be made to suffer in our efforts to gain promotion.
“The management, the players, the staff and just as importantly, the Caley Jag support will now need to pull together over the next two crucial games to show that just as on Friday night in Arbroath, we won’t turn away from our target no matter the challenges we face or the unjust adversity forced upon us.”
ICT twice faced hosts with nine men
Subsequent to Devine’s dismissal, Inverness striker Shane Sutherland then suffered a serious knee injury, leaving the Highlanders with nine men as they could not use another substitute unless the reached extra-time.
Lewis Hyde then replaced Sutherland at full-time, but defender Wallace Duffy was sent off in extra-time for a second bookable offence, reducing their team to nine men once more.
Bodies were blocking shots and Arbroath failed to find the net by the end of extra-time and Inverness won the penalty shoot-out 5-3 to book their final spot.
St Johnstone, the Premiership’s 11th-placed finishers, visit the Caledonian Stadium on Friday before hosting Billy Dodds’ in-form side on Monday in a game which could also go all the way to spot-kicks.
Having experienced Northern Irishman Devine at the back alongside former Scotland, Rangers and Kilmarnock star Kirk Broadfoot would have been a massive boost to the Caley Jags.
Robbie Deas, a natural central defender playing at left-back, will likely take Devine’s place, with Cameron Harper slotting into the left side of defence.
Trio remain out for play-off final
The Scottish FA made the incident high priority with its fast track tribunal hearing, considering the rule breach of “denying the opposing team or an opponent a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity as defined by Law 12.”
Inverness would also have liked to have appealed Duffy’s sending off, but it was not an option as you cannot appeal two yellow cards.
ICT will also be without crocked trio Sutherland, Roddy MacGregor and Tom Walsh.