The Scottish FA open proceedings against Bilel Mohsni

Rangers defender facing a lengthy ban for his violent behaviour

Rangers have slammed Bilel Mohsni for his Motherwell meltdown - but admit they are now powerless to punish him. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA

Rangers have slammed Bilel Mohsni for his Motherwell meltdown - but admit they are now powerless to punish him. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA

 

Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni has been issued with a notice of complaint and could face a long ban following his violent behaviour at Motherwell.

The Scottish Football Association have opened proceedings against the French-born Tunisian two days after he sparked a mass brawl at the end of Sunday’s Scottish Premiership play-off final second leg by kicking and punching opponent Lee Erwin.

He was sent off after the final whistle at Fir Park and has now been punished with an initial four-game ban.

However, he faces being punished further by Hampden disciplinary bosses after they charged him with three counts of “excessive misconduct by committing sending-off offences of violent conduct”.

Meanwhile, Motherwell duo Lionel Ainsworth and Craig Moore have accepted two-match bans for their part in the fracas.

It was also reported on Sunday that Erwin — who pushed Mohsni when his offer of a handshake was snubbed, triggering the Gers player’s wild flurry — and team-mate Fraser Kerr were also sent off after the match.

But it has now emerged Erwin was only shown a yellow card by referee Craig Thomson for “adopting an aggressive attitude” and will face no further punishment.

Mohsni — who is out of contract at Ibrox — has already returned to his parents house in Paris, according to reports.

Police are still investigating the incident but his agent claims his “career in British football” is over.

The notice of complaint levied against the 27-year-old states he breached disciplinary rule 202 with his assault on Erwin and that “these sending-off offences of Violent Conduct were aggravated by the number of acts of Violent Conduct committed by you, by the prolonged nature of the incident involving these acts, and by the high degree of physical violence used”.

It adds: “That your acts of Violent Conduct involved: i) Kicking Lee Erwin of Motherwell FC; ii) Punching Lee Erwin of Motherwell FC upon the face so that his face was cut and he was injured; and iii) Struggling violently with Fraser Kerr of Motherwell FC.”

A principal hearing has been set for June 18th, and Mohsni has until 3pm on June 9th to respond to the complaint.

The SFA statement adds: “For the avoidance of doubt, Mr Mohsni was sent off after the above match for Violent Conduct, incurring an automatic four-match suspension (two matches plus two additional matches for previous sending-off offences this season). The above notice of complaint is in addition to this sending-off offence.”

Rangers released a statement on Monday, saying: “Bilel Mohsni’s behaviour was completely unacceptable and had his contract not now expired, the club would have started disciplinary proceedings.”

After reviewing video footage of the incident, SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan also charged Motherwell duo Ainsworth and Kerr.

Ainsworth has now been banned for two games after he admitted “striking Bilel Mohsni of Rangers FC on the back of the neck or head”, while Kerr was given the same punishment for “striking or attempting to strike Bilel Mohsni of Rangers FC with your hand”.

Well boss Ian Baraclough said: “Whilst it is a totally normal reaction to defend a team-mate who is the victim of what we all agree was a serious incident, we all recognise that striking out has no place on a football field.

“Both players were keen to protect their team-mate, but accept the punishment from the Compliance Officer and are keen to draw a line under the whole affair.”

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