Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis has insisted he won’t “hold his breath” on the SFA taking any action against the Celtic supporters who directed sectarian songs towards manager Derek McInnes during Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final.

McInnes was sent to the stands for his get-it-up-you gesture to the Celtic fans as he reacted to chants of "sad Orange b******.” A touchline suspension is expected to follow.

“There was sectarian chanting and I don’t know what will be done about it,” said Lewis. “It is down to the SFA to take some action or not. Whether they will do or not – probably not. They [the SFA president and chief executive] would have seen it first hand and we’ll see what is done about it, although I won’t hold my breath.”

HeraldScotland: Derek McInnes is sent to the standsDerek McInnes is sent to the stands

READ MORE: McKenna says Ball red card shows Aberdeen get unfair treatment versus Celtic

The 31-year-old English goalkeeper has admitted that the entire concept of sectarianism in Scotland has been lost on him. In a season in which there have been numerous cases of fan misconduct with sectarian singing among those issues, the stopper has insisted that until the authorities are prepared to address and recognise the problem then it will continue to be prevalent within the game.

“I don’t get it,” he said. “I don’t understand it and I am glad I don’t understand it. It is completely alien to me. It is a culture that is set and it is going to be extremely hard to get rid of it. But, if action isn’t taken against it then things won’t change. Any culture change needs strong actions or things are never going to change.”

From Aberdeen’s point of view, the game itself was as disappointing as everything else that went with it. If McInnes was right to feel aggrieved, there was an equally justified accusation that on the park, Aberdeen’s ill discipline cost them.

Dominic Ball was first to go after a second booking for his late challenge on Ryan Christie that has left the Celtic midfielder with a suspected broken cheekbone and fractured eye socket. In the second period Lewis Ferguson contributed to the numerical imbalance when he saw red for a two-footed lunge on Tom Rogic and while Lewis felt that sending off was justified, he sought to make a case in defence of Ball.

HeraldScotland: Dominic Ball clashes heads with Ryan ChristieDominic Ball clashes heads with Ryan Christie

READ MORE: Aberdeen pay the price for their physical football as classy Celtic move to the brink of history

Like Scott McKenna and McInnes, he referred back to the incident with Gary Mackay-Steven and Dedryck Boyata in the League Cup final as a comparison.

“He is a fraction late and he has caught Ryan and it looked a nasty one, so I can see why that one has been given,” said the goalkeeper. “It was very similar to when Gary Mackay-Steven was caught very late and ended up concussed and there wasn’t even a foul given for that. I think Dom can consider himself very unlucky to get a red card.

“[With Lewis] it was maybe the frustration. It was a bad tackle and he will learn from it although nobody got injured or hurt and he will learn from that and hopefully he will come out a better and stronger player after this.

“But I can’t say we didn’t come up short because the facts are obvious. We need to be a bit smarter. We can’t blame the referee or decisions for the full result. You need to be clever. There is no lack of effort from the boys. We put lots of effort into every game because the character amongst the lads is good. We just need to show that calmness and composure to make the right decisions in the heat of the battle and that was probably what was lacking on Sunday.”

HeraldScotland: Lewis Ferguson is sent off for AberdeenLewis Ferguson is sent off for Aberdeen

READ MORE: Five things we noticed from Celtic's win over Aberdeen

With five league games remaining now, Aberdeen need to dust themselves down if they are to continue their fight to nail down the third spot that would guarantee European football.

“There is no other option but to now give maximum effort to our remaining games,” said Lewis. “It is difficult to talk about the next game because things are still so raw but by the time the next game comes we know Kilmarnock won’t go easy on us just because we are licking our wounds.

“They will want to capitalise on it and hope they catch us sulking but that is not us. We will be ready and up for the next game and react the way we have when we have had other disappointments this season.”