Hamilton Academical’s head coach Brian Rice has been given a 10 match ban after he admitted to breaching Scottish FA gambling rules two weeks ago.

Rice, who was accused of breaking the rules at least once a season from 2015 to 2019, will only need to serve five of his ten matches initially. If the former Nottingham Forest player attends regular recovery meeting and doesn’t breach rules again then he will not need to serve the other half of his ban until summer 2021. 

“The tribunal chose to suspend one half of the sanction to reflect the genuine efforts it considered Mr Rice has made to ‘put his life and that of his family back together again’ and to take account of his genuine expression of remorse for his breach of the rule and the effect that has had on his family, the club and the Scottish FA,” announced the tribunal chair.

As part of the charge, Hamilton must also submit a certificate to the SFA stating that, as far as they are aware, Rice has not gambled since 17 October 2019.

The tribunal added: “It is the hope of the tribunal that the suspended element will not be imposed but will play some part in helping Mr Rice to avoid returning to the practice, which has so blighted his life.”

The Scot’s punishment sees him serving 10 out of a possible 13 game suspension that the SFA could have handed out. Rice has also avoided a fine which could have been any figure up to £100,000.

According to the Scottish Premiership club, Rice has reported himself to the governing body regarding his gambling addiction and so that could have played a part in the manager’s charge. 

On the pitch, Assistant manager Guillaume Beuzelin will take charge of the team, who play Celtic at home, on Sunday. With the Hamilton’s academy director George Cairns taking care of media duties.