Suspended Manuel Pascali ‘will play’ against Celtic, says Kenny Shiels

Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels has said he intends to field Manuel Pascali against Celtic despite the player being suspended.

Pascali was sent off in the third minute of Kilmarnock’s match against St Johnstone, incurring a two match ban.

Kilmarnock failed to have the red card overturned on appeal and Pascali has since sat out one game, the Scottish Cup win against Queen of the South.

The Italian midfielder is on the suspension list for the Scottish Premier League match against Celtic on Saturday but Shiels feels the punishment has already been served.

“I’m looking into the ruling and I need to speak to chairman but as it stands I plan to include Pascali in the squad for Saturday’s game,” Shiels told STV.

“I think it’s within the rules [to play him] because he has technically served his two match suspension due to the fact he was sent off three minutes into the St Johnstone game.”

Shiels added that the decision to reduce Stephen McKenna’s red card to a yellow at a Scottish FA FastTrack Tribunal left him baffled. McKenna was shown a straight red in Queen of the South’s Scottish Cup game against Kilmarnock last weekend.

“I am astounded by the decision,” Shiels said. “His challenge was slightly worse than Pascali’s.

“Neither of them should have been red cards. I have to say I am shocked by the level of inconsistency.

“Pascali’s was less aggressive and what I want to know is why McKenna had his red to yellow but Pascali didn’t.”

Despite Shiels' protest, Scottish FA rules clearly state his reasoning is flawed.

The detail of the Judicial Panel Protocol outlines that, when a player is banned for two games following a red card for serious foul play, "the suspension will apply immediately to the player’s recognised team’s next two matches, irrespective of competition."

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