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Ross County manager John Hughes will be in stand for Staggies’ two remaining games after receiving two-match ban from Scottish FA

Ross County manager John Hughes.
Ross County manager John Hughes.

Ross County manager John Hughes will be in the stand for the Staggies’ remaining two Premiership matches after being hit with an immediate two-match ban by the Scottish FA.

Hughes was served with the ban, which includes a further two matches which are suspended, meaning he will not be in the dugout for the fixtures at home to Hamilton Accies next Wednesday and away to Motherwell a week on Sunday.

The Staggies boss was issued with a notice of complaint last month having been alleged to have broken two disciplinary rules during comments he made about refereeing performances in Scotland.

Hughes argued that “small clubs get nothing” and he felt patronised any time he spoke to referees’ chief Crawford Allan.

The Staggies manager also raised the question over referees’ allegiances, adding that if officials were to declare who they support – as happens in England – half of them would not be able to officiate games involving Celtic or Rangers.

The comments related to incidents which took place in the Staggies’ defeats to St Mirren (Feburary 27) and Hibernian (March 13).

Hughes had been speaking in support of Hamilton Accies counterpart Brian Rice, who was last week handed a ban of the same length after being handed a notice of complaint for his own comments on refereeing.

Brian Rice (left) with John Hughes.

Hughes was cited over disciplinary rule 72, which relates to comments likely to indicate bias or incompetence on the part of such match official, or “make remarks about such match official(s) which impinge on his character.”

In addition, he was charged with violating rule 77, which pertains to acting in the best interests of football.

In a statement, Ross County said: “Following this morning’s SFA hearing, our manager, John Hughes has been served with a four-match touchline ban of which two matches are suspended.

“John will serve his touchline ban over the two remaining fixtures this season. The club will be making no further comment on this.”

County sit 10th in the table ahead of next week’s match against bottom side Accies, with only three points separating them from the Lanarkshire outfit.

The Staggies are only a point above Kilmarnock, who occupy the relegation play-off position.

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