FERNANDO Ricksen yesterday became the first player in Scottish football to be tried by television when he received a two-match ban after the SFA's disciplinary committee used video evidence to find the Dutchman guilty of violent conduct against Darren Young, the Aberdeen midfielder.

Ricksen was handed an automatic one-match suspension, which will rule him out of Saturday's league encounter at Ibrox against second-placed Hibernian, and the 12 penalty points meted out also takes him over the points threshold, which means he will also sit out his club's final match before the winter break, against St Mirren at Love Street.

The player faces further punishment from the general purposes committee when they meet in February to discuss comments made by the internationalist on his website, which stated he had deliberately tried to ''straighten out'' Young during Rangers' 2-1 victory against Ebbe Skovdahl's side in November.

However, it is likely he will escape with a heavy censure, the same punishment meted out to Arthur Numan, his team-mate and countryman, for comments made after their 6-2 defeat against Celtic in August.

He criticised Jonathan Gould, the Celtic goalkeeper, for helping to get Barry Ferguson sent off, and was warned to be careful in his dealings with the media.

Ricksen later claimed that he had been misquoted on his own website, but he is likely to be ordered to tone down any contentious future diary issues.

Yesterday, Jim Oliver, the chairman of the SFA's disciplinary committee, defended the unprecedented use of television evidence, but insisted that neither professional footballers nor, indeed, referees should live in fear of big brother.

''It is the first time it has been used to sanction a player, but we have consulted television evidence before to overturn cautions,'' he said. ''There is concern about using it, especially since Fernando Ricksen has been the first player to be sanctioned using this method, but we do not intend trawling videos for every discrepancy.

''This was an incident of importance, having attracted a lot of media coverage. It was a blatant act of aggression, but every case will be considered on its merits.''

Mike McCurry, the official in charge at Pittodrie, has been criticised for failing to spot the incident, but referees received a vote of confidence from Oliver.

''We hope this decision sends a message to other players that we will not turn a blind eye,'' he said. ''We have referees' supervisors in the stands because nobody is perfect.''

Ricksen refused to comment on his punishment yesterday and is contemplating whether or not to make an appeal. He was joined at the hearing at Hampden Park by Campbell Ogilvie, the Rangers secretary, and the club are understood to be unhappy at being used as the guinea pig for the new policy.

Ivano Bonetti, the Dundee manager, was censured for comments after the Dundee derby in September. The Italian was critical of Jason De Vos, the United defender, for the tackle that put Fabian Caballero out of action with a knee injury.

Allan Evans, the Morton manager, was also warned about his future conduct, while Alex McLeish, of Hibernian, and Sandy Clark, of St John-stone, will receive letters from the disciplinary committee to clarify recent quotes attributed to them. Although disappointed to miss out on two important matches having just regained his place in Rangers' starting line-up, Ricksen was pleased with his performance in Sunday's 1-1 draw against Dundee United.

The 24-year-old has endured a turbulent start to his Ibrox career, but after overcoming injury and loss of form, he is beginning to show the form that has helped him break into the Dutch national squad.

Ricksen lamented on his website the ''stupid goal'' gifted to Derek Lilley by Lorenzo Amoruso, but he insisted that despite the 12-point gap between Rangers and Celtic, it is not insurmountable.

''The only thing we can do to change our luck is work hard and try to force the luck to come down on our side,'' he said. ''We have a good squad - one that is capable of beating any team - and the spirit among the players is brilliant.

l Luis Figo, the world's most expensive player, has been named European Footballer of the Year.

Figo, who moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid for #36m after Portugal were knocked out of Euro 2000 at the semi-final stage, was awarded the ''Golden Ball'' in a poll of football journalists organised by French publication.