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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has no regrets over his criticism of the match officials following last weekend’s defeat by Hearts after being hit with a Scottish Football Association disciplinary charge.

Rodgers faces a hearing on March 28 after being accused of breaching a rule which forbids criticising match officials “in such a way as to indicate bias or incompetence”.

The Northern Irishman claimed the “level of incompetence” made him worry for the game as he criticised the displays of referee Don Robertson and video assistant John Beaton in particular, with Yang Hyun-jun’s red card and a penalty for handball against Tomoki Iwata the key complaints.

Rodgers risks being banned from the touchline for Celtic’s cinch Premiership clash against Rangers on April 7 but, when asked if he had any regrets over his comments, he said: “No, not at all. My job is to defend the team, defend the club and that’s what we will do in this case.

“We will defend it vigorously and when the date comes we will go from there. I will sit down with the club and the lawyers and we will look at it from there.”

Rodgers added: “It was my observations over many games, primarily around the inconsistency of decisions.

“I never talk so much about referees and haven’t done over the course of my career. I understand they make mistakes. But I felt the ones last week were clear, clear errors.”

Celtic failed in an appeal over Yang’s red card for a high boot on Alex Cochrane, which was upgraded following a VAR review.

Hearts v Celtic
Yang is suspended for two matches (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Rodgers said: “I have seen incidents worse than that, and I thought the on-field decision was correct, a yellow card.

“We had a report back that the studs and the boot was in the face of the player, which clearly a couple of days later when we get that report and it says that, it is clearly not the case when you watch it.”

Yang will be suspended for Sunday’s Scottish Gas Scottish Cup quarter-final against Livingston and fellow winger Luis Palma is a doubt with a knock.

Captain Callum McGregor will again sit out the game following an inconclusive scan after being troubled by pain in his Achilles/calf area.

Callum McGregor
Celtic captain Callum McGregor watched from the stand at Tynecastle (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“We had it in our mind anyway he would miss through until the international break and then take it from there,” Rodgers said.

“He travelled for the scan but nothing really showed up so much. We will assess it over the next couple of weeks. We will just have to see how that feels on a day-to-day basis really.

“It’s something he has felt most seasons of late, towards the back end of the season, but he has had to play through it or was able to play through it. It’s not something new but it’s something we have to look at and be mindful of.”

Alexandro Bernabei
Argentinian left-back Alexandro Bernabei has moved on (Steve Welsh/PA)

Alexandro Bernabei also drops out of the squad after being loaned to Brazilian club Internacional for the rest of 2024.

Rodgers was comfortable with the departure of the Argentinian despite having no regular left-back as cover for Greg Taylor.

“If I didn’t want it to happen it, it didn’t have to happen, but I’m confident enough in what we have in the squad for the remainder of the season, we will have coverage in that position,” Rodgers said. “Liam Scales has played there and we have other options.”