Hearts have been told they have no chance of overturning Malaury Martin’s Fir Park booking – despite the fact Motherwell striker Louis Moult tripped over his own team-mate.
Hearts registered their intention to appeal against the yellow card on the grounds of mistaken identity after referee Andrew Dallas penalised Martin for a foul on Moult, who had in fact fallen over Well colleague Lionel Ainsworth’s foot.
Scottish Football Association rules state that a claim of mistaken identity may be submitted if an offence has been committed by another player.
But, because there was technically no offence, Martin will have to accept the booking.
A Hearts statement read: “The club had intended to appeal the weekend booking of Malaury Martin, who was yellow-carded by Andrew Dallas against Motherwell, and indicated an intention to do so on the grounds of ‘mistaken identity’ (ie the referee wrongly identified the player who committed the foul).
“Following discussions with the club’s legal advisors and various officials at the SFA, it is clear however that the current rules as they stand, do not cover this specific situation.
“Put quite simply, we cannot appeal on the grounds of ‘mistaken identity’ as the referee did not mistakenly identify our player. He believed the offence was committed by Malaury.
“The fact that it was not a foul and that the Motherwell player merely tripped over the feet of his own player, means that while it may have been an error to give the foul and to book our player, it was not a case of mistaken identity.
“The referee did not mistake Malaury for another Hearts player, which is the only situation that would allow an appeal to be successful in the case of ‘mistaken identity’. Nor can the yellow be rescinded by referee Dallas as the rules do not allow for this.
“The club is going to pursue a potential rule change at the earliest opportunity so that common sense can prevail in the future and no other player or club suffers a similar fate.”
Meanwhile, Motherwell have not followed through with plans to appeal against Carl McHugh’s dismissal in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat.
Manager Mark McGhee vowed that the club would “100 per cent” appeal after McHugh was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Hearts midfielder Don Cowie.
But the Lanarkshire club did not submit any paperwork before Monday’s 3pm deadline, which means McHugh will miss Ladbrokes Premiership games against Aberdeen and Celtic.
Motherwell failed last week with an appeal against Scott McDonald’s red card for a similar tackle on Rangers striker Kenny Miller, although the Australian scored in a 2-1 victory over Ross County in the intervening days. He would have otherwise been suspended for the game.
Motherwell appear to have decided against potentially spending another £500 on a second appeal.
McGhee said in his post-match press conference: “I have just watched it over and over again. Never in a million years is it a sending-off. It’s a joke.
”It’s a great tackle, clean won the ball. What can I say? It’s just a ridiculous decision. I think it’s less of a sending-off than Scott McDonald’s.”