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Football

Hearts ask FA for penalty inquiry


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Referee Hugh Dallas sent off two players in the row following the penalty award

GLASGOW, Scotland -- Heart of Midlothian have asked the Scottish FA to investigate the "integrity of the decision" that led to the chaotic ending of their controversial 2-1 home defeat by Rangers on Wednesday.

Scottish Premier League leaders Rangers won with a last minute penalty after a linesman flagged for a push by Lee Miller on Sotirios Kyrgiakos.

Hearts were furious at the decision and forward Saulius Mikoliunas was sent off by World Cup referee Hugh Dallas for shoving the linesman.

Rangers striker Dado Prso was also dismissed for a second booking during the melee.

The incident has been the talking point of Scottish soccer for the last few days and Hearts held a news conference, after which they issued a statement on their website.

"Heart of Midlothian Football Club have asked the president of the Scottish Football Association to instigate an inquiry into the integrity of the decision which led to a chaotic ending to Wednesday night's fixture with Rangers at Tynecastle," it said.

Hearts added that they had handed a letter to the association at Hampden.

"This is not a step we have taken lightly but it is one we feel is necessary on behalf of the club and its supporters.

"As a club we are concerned about the manner in which we were deprived of what could prove to be a very valuable point.

"The result has diluted our position in terms of qualification for the UEFA Cup, disappointed our fans, and decreased the morale of our squad."

Hearts are fifth in the standings a point behind Aberdeen and six points adrift of third-placed Hibernian, who currently occupy the UEFA Cup qualifying spot.

The club added: "Hearts made in excess of two million pounds ($3.81 million) from the UEFA Cup (this) season and the scenes which followed the awarding of the Rangers penalty on Wednesday evening led to two players being red-carded and one of our players barging into the assistant due to his understandable sense of injustice.

"We do not condone such behavior but neither can we allow the actions to go unquestioned."

Media reports had suggested Hearts would demand a replay of the match but club officials said on Friday that was not the case, and they merely wanted an investigation.


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