The Turk was dismissed for violent conduct during Tuesday evening's tempestuous Scottish League Cup quarter-final defeat in Inverness but, when United appealed that decision yesterday, Vincent Lunny responded by issuing two notices of complaint against the player. The governing body's compliance officer has offered Ciftci a three-match suspension after accusing him of "violent conduct by grabbing an opposing player by his face" and alleged a further offence of "excessive misconduct . . . by seizing hold of an assistant referee, namely Gavin Harris, by the throat".
If found guilty of the latter, Ciftci could be suspended for a further four matches, although the higher tariff bans for breaching Rule 201 are as much as 16 games. The Turk has until next Thursday to respond to that particular charge - the same day as his appeal hearing for the initial red will be heard - but must inform the SFA today whether he will accept or reject the three-game sanction, the first of which would be tomorrow's trip to Celtic Park.
The charges come almost 48 hours after the fracas, which started when Inverness Caledonian Thistle captain Richie Foran barged into United's Gary Mackay-Steven amid a dispute over a throw-in. As the latter lay on the turf, 20 players converged amid some pushing and shoving as referee Kevin Clancy attempted to restore order. The official showed a couple of yellow cards before dismissing Ciftci and sending both Terry Butcher and Darren Jackson to the stand from their respective technical areas.
Although the television footage is inconclusive, Herald Sport understands the referee's report confirms the sending off was for Ciftci slapping away the arm of an Inverness player, which took place moments before he grabbed the face of Graeme Shinnie, which sparked the first notice of complaint. Where the incident with the official fits in remains unclear.
The onus is on United to prove that the initial red card should not have been shown but, in the other cases, it is beholden on the compliance officer to prove the two breaches, suggesting further evidence does exist.
The latest incident comes less than two months after the Tannadice club were enraged by the treatment of defender Gavin Gunning, who was banned for three matches after being retrospectively charged for kicking Celtic's Virgil van Dijk despite the incident having gone unpunished by referee Crawford Allan. United's gripe was that that incident was only acted upon after it was highlighted on television, while other such matters were overlooked.
Now the club have again been left angered by the selective nature of the charge, pointing towards the actions of several other players from both sides during the melee.
Speaking before Lunny's intervention, manager Jackie McNamara mounted a stern defence of
his player and insisted he was being singled out.
"I think we have a case; otherwise we wouldn't be appealing," McNamara said. "We've appealed in the past when it's maybe seemed a waste of time but hopefully not this time. Gary Mackay-Steven took a few and that also seems to have been forgotten.
"They said that it was violent conduct and [Nadir] slapped him on the upper body. I have looked at the footage and he has gone to speak to the linesman and there are three players surrounding him, pushing and intimidating him. The guy has put his arm up and he has pushed his hand away. Other such incidents went unpunished."
While angered by the events, McNamara has acknowledged that his young side must become more savvy in such situations and has called on them to learn from what happened. "I think in that instance the whole thing was preventable. A few things sparked it off. The lads are guilty of sticking together. At the incident with Mackay-Steven, they felt something was wrong. They all got involved. They thought their team-mate had been hard done-by in an incident which went unnoticed. He was also getting abuse from the [Inverness] manager.
"If they are guilty then they will be punished but we are looking for consistency and clarification.
I was told after the game by the linesman and the referee why he was sent off and I want to make sure that is what's in the report when I see it."
McNamara, meanwhile, has allowed midfielder Mark Millar to return to Falkirk on loan. The 25-year-old moved to United in June 2012 but has started just 12 games during an injury-ravaged stint and will spend the next three months with his former club.