BRENDAN RODGERS has branded Hearts star Steven MacLean as ‘stupid’ after being cited by the compliance officer over grabbing Eboue Kouassi’s privates.

During the first half of the semi-final, MacLean was already on a yellow card when he decided to try and put Kouassi off defending a corner by grabbing him.

Had the referee seen it in the time it would have surely meant a dismissal.

With the TV cameras catching all of it, the compliance officer has judged this to be violent conduct and the player has been offered a two-match ban.

After the game, MacLean tried to pass it off as ‘no big deal’ and a bit of old-school banter,

He will certainly be regretting his actions today.

Brendan Rodgers weighed in on the issue after being asked his thoughts on it at his pre-match press conference.

The Celtic manager made note nobody at Celtic mentioned the incident at all before the compliance officer had their say.

“It was a stupid thing to do. MacLean was probably a bit emotional at the time. He’d been booked at the start of the game, so was probably fired up.

“We didn’t make any comment on it. It will be up to others to deal with it. I don’t think there is any need for it.

“You see all sorts of things going on — people standing on someone’s toes, tugging their shirts, whatever.

“I didn’t play long enough for that to happen to me. But I was stamped on once during a youth international and that was sore. In fact, I can still feel it!”



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