Caley Thistle have vowed to contest Josh Meekings’ one match ban for handball against Celtic in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final.
The Inverness defender was informed he will be suspended for the cup final at Hampden on May 30 after being deemed to have “denied the opposing team an obvious goal scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball” by the governing body’s compliance officer.
Meekings blocked a Leigh Griffifths shot with his arm when the score was 1-0 to the Hoops and Inverness went on to mount a superb comeback and win the game 3-2 in extra-time.
Celtic announced on Monday they would write to the SFA for an explanation on referee Steven MacLean’s failure to award a spot kick and dismiss Meekings, prompting the SFA to act.
But Inverness are furious at the decision which they claim has left the player “mentally shattered at the turn of events.”
A club statement from the Highlanders read: “Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC can confirm that it has declined the fixed one match suspension offer in relation to the Notice of Complaint issued to Josh Meekings following an alleged breach of Disciplinary Rule 200 at the ICTFC v Celtic game on Sunday, 19th April 2015.
“The club intends to vigorously defend our player and is taking legal advice on the issue.
“We are extremely disappointed that this has arisen and the player himself is mentally shattered at the turn of events.
“Josh is keen to appear in person at the disciplinary hearing and we will most strongly support him by all means available.”