Celtic star Ryan Christie couldn't believe his suspension for Alfredo Morelos flashpoint

By David Walton

February 16, 2020

Ryan Christie’s recent suspension doesn’t get any less bizarre or inconsistent the more you think about it, and the player himself was astounded too.

The Celtic playmaker, who has 18 goals to his name this season (Transfermarkt), was banned for three games after a flashpoint with Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos on December 29th. Christie seemed to grab Morelos’ genitals in what could only be described as revenge for Morelos doing the same to him one year previous.

Morelos ended up escaping any punishment due to the fact that John Beaton seen the incident (Daily Record). Christie, however, ended up copping a three-match suspension for the same offence.

Ryan Christie vs Rangers (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Speaking in comments published by the Scottish Sun, here’s what he had to say on the verdict that was announced last month.

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“I first heard about my charge when my mate sent me through a screenshot. I thought it was a joke — a wind-up. I couldn’t even remember the incident, I said that to the panel. It wasn’t until I watched the footage back that I even realised my hand had gone there.

“As soon as the game was done, it wasn’t even a thought. Maybe ten seconds after that tackle it was out of my head. He took the ball past me, it was an obvious foul, but it was all very strange when I got called back up.

“It was pretty bizarre to me, and I’ve had plenty of people from across the football map get in touch and express their feelings about it as well. But it’s in the past I suppose, and hopefully it’s my last suspension of the season.”

The inconsistency needs sorting

The system is quite incredible in that two players who commit the same offence don’t necessarily get the same punishment.

So Morelos gets away with it because Beaton saw it. Why on earth, then, can’t there be a law that allows the player to still be pulled up regardless? Just because Beaton managed to see it doesn’t make it right. After all, it’s these kinds of inconsistencies that can help decided championships.

In addition to that, Christie was charged with an “act of brutality” (BBC). Nothing like going over the top then, eh? So Christie’s was apparently brutal, but Morelos’ was fine because an official managed to see it without actually punishing him. Crazy stuff.

Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie (Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images)

And it’s not as if this just affects the three games Christie was out for. Yes, it didn’t seem to hurt Celtic too much after we picked up wins against Partick Thistle, Kilmarnock, and Ross County respectively.

Where it will hurt Christie is the fact that he’s now been frozen out of the starting XI. Neil Lennon has been going with a 3-5-2 without a proper number 10 – Christie’s position. Yet the attacker hasn’t been given the chance to show how he can play in the new system. Those three games he missed could be pivotal to his chances of getting back in.

It’s no wonder that Christie labeled the decision “bizarre”. Hopefully he can bounce back from it individually.