Hearts boss handed five-match ban

Hearts manager Paulo Sergio has been hit with a five-match ban for misconduct following a disciplinary tribunal at Hampden, the Scottish Football Association have confirmed.

The Hearts boss was sent to the stand in Hearts’ ill-tempered 1-0 loss to Kilmarnock at Tynecastle on October 29.

And, following a second disciplinary appearance at Hampden in a fortnight, Sergio has been handed a touchline suspension, beginning with Saturday’s match against Dundee United at Tannadice.

Sergio has the right to appeal.

Unless he successfully appeals, Sergio will next be able to enter the dugout in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League fixture with Motherwell on Christmas Eve, missing matches with United, Inverness, St Johnstone, Celtic and Dunfermline.

The decision was announced in a statement issued by the SFA, which read that Sergio had breached rule 203, which incorporates "continued use of offensive, abusing and/or insulting language and/or behaviour; calling a match official a cheat and/or calling a match official’s integrity into question; failure to comply with a match official’s requests; adoption of aggressive behaviour towards a match official".

Sergio was seen remonstrating furiously with referee Alan Muir and was sent to the stand after 77 minutes of the SPL clash with Killie, which was settled by a controversial Dean Shiels penalty after Ian Black’s first-half dismissal.

Muir pointed to the spot only after the intervention of his assistant, Stuart MacCaulay, following a foul by Hearts defender Marius Zaliukas on Paul Heffernan, while numerous other incidents appeared to anger Sergio throughout the match.

Two weeks ago Sergio escaped with a warning for his comments about match official Iain Brines.

The Portuguese was "censured" over two charges relating to comments made about Brines before his side’s SPL win over Dunfermline on October 15.

Hearts began a media blackout, issuing all communication through their official website, following the initial disciplinary proceedings relating to Brines. The stance has been maintained and it is uncertain when Sergio or anyone from the club will next speak publicly.