THE Scottish FA have revealed that they offered Kilmarnock the chance to bring Kyle Lafferty's disciplinary hearing forward.
The Killie striker was hit with a Notice of Complaint last week by the SFA.
The 35-year-old admitted he used a sectarian slur in a video widely shared on social media two-weeks ago while on Northern Ireland duty.
Lafferty was disciplined by the Ayrshire club with a hefty fine, as well as ensuring he engages in counselling sessions.
He faces further action from Scottish football's governing body, with the hearing date set for on October 20.
He’s been charged, under Rule 81, of using “offensive, insulting or abusive language” and also under Rule 77, which covers not acting in the best interests of Scottish football.
The minimum suspension under that Lafferty could face under the SFA's rules is ten-games.
He started Killie's match against St Johnstone last night, which finished 2-1 to the Rugby Park outfit.
Derek McInnes said after the match: "He's not banned. We've been given sanctions by the SFA to play our players.
"He's been dealt with by the club. We took action, strong action. The biggest part was Kyle's admission to it.
"It's not our fault and it's not Kyle's fault that the SFA haven't banned him.
"If that is looking likely, and we're expecting some sort of ban, then why should we hamper ourselves further by not selecting him for the games before the hearing?
"We've dealt with it. Bear in mind he was on Northern Ireland duty when this happened. We've taken the brunt of it. We'll have to wait and see what comes."
However, the SFA insist Killie had the opportunity to deal with the matter quicker than the date initially set for the hearing.
A statement reads: "Following the latest comments from Derek McInnes regarding the Notice of Complaint issued to Kyle Lafferty, the Scottish FA seeks to clarify that the club were offered the opportunity, under rule 10.2.5 of the Judicial Panel Protocol, to bring forward the date of the hearing from October 20 but declined to do so.
"The timescales applied under the Judicial Panel Protocol are intended to give those issued with a Notice of Complaint appropriate time to respond to the charge(s) and fully consider their case prior to the hearing date."
Lafferty could also face Hearts, St Mirren and Dundee United before potentially facing a lengthy ban.
Kilmarnock have been contacted for comment.