London: Celtic`s Bulgarian winger Aleksandar Tonev has lost his appeal against a seven-match suspension for racially abusing an opponent, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) announced on Tuesday.
Tonev, who is on loan from Aston Villa, was given the ban in October following an incident involving Aberdeen`s English defender Shay Logan during a Scottish Premiership match the previous month.
An SFA disciplinary panel found 24-year-old Tonev guilty of using "offensive, insulting and abusive language of a racist nature" and its verdict was upheld by an appeals panel.
Celtic expressed disappointment with the outcome, saying: "Celtic Football Club will be approaching the Scottish FA to seek to address this issue." They added: "Clearly, Aleksandar continues to have our full support."
The SFA on Tuesday released details of the original judicial panel on October 30 and the appeal hearing on December 4.
Logan told the original panel that after he had put his arm across Tonev during Celtic`s 2-1 home win over Aberdeen on September 13, the Bulgarian had said: "Don`t touch me, you black cunt."
The panel described Logan as an "impressive witness" and noted that he had immediately informed his captain, Mark Reynolds, referee Bobby Madden, and manager Derek McInnes about what he claimed to have heard Tonev say.
Tonev denied saying the insult, which nobody else heard, but the panel found his evidence "particularly unsatisfactory".
It added: "The impression was of a witness giving a less than full account of his actual understanding; and seemed to the tribunal to be an inherently improbable account."
Announcing the verdict of the appeals panel, the SFA said: "The appeal has been rejected and an immediate seven-match suspension will be applied (with one match having already been served)."