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Ryan Edwards’ tackle unpunished but Mark Connolly facing SFA charge

St Mirren v Dundee Utd – Ladbrokes Premiership Play-off – Final – Second Leg – Simple Digital Arena
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Ryan Edwards has escaped retrospective action for his challenge on Alfredo Morelos – but fellow Dundee United defender Mark Connolly is facing a disciplinary charge for alleged breaches of coronavirus protocols.

It is understood that Scottish Football Association compliance officer Clare Whyte referred Edwards’ challenge to three former referees but they could not reach the required unanimous decision that it warranted further action.

The centre-back won the ball in a challenge with the Rangers striker on Saturday but caught Morelos around the knee with his follow-through, causing a gash which saw the Colombian carried off on a stretcher.

A notice of complaint could have been raised by Whyte before 3pm on Tuesday if the incident was deemed serious foul play of an “exceptional” variety and was not seen in full by referee Kevin Clancy and his fellow match officials.

An act can be deemed exceptional if the level of force was “very high”; or if the challenge was malicious or designed to cause injury; or there was a “very high” level of danger; or if the challenge caused a “significant injury”.

In the end, the three former match officials did not unanimously agree that the incident met that criteria and Morelos could be back in action on Thursday after making the journey with his Rangers team-mates ahead of their Europa League tie against Lincoln Red Imps in Gibraltar.

While Edwards enjoyed a reprieve, his fellow United centre-back Mark Connolly is facing two SFA disciplinary charges.

Connolly has been accused of failing to comply with the rules of the SFA and not acting in the best interests of football following an incident on August 31.

The defender was reported to have refused to have worn a mask in a taxi following a night out.

A club statement read: “Dundee United confirms it has received a notice of complaint from the compliance officer in relation to an alleged breach of rules 24 and 77 by defender Mark Connolly.

“The club is co-operating fully with the Scottish FA on this matter and will make no further comment at this time.”

Connolly faces a hearing on October 1.

Eight Aberdeen players received suspended bans last month after breaching coronavirus protocols by going on a mass night out in the city, while Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli served a three-match ban for breaking quarantine rules, before leaving the club on loan.