John Beaton has been appointed referee for next Saturday’s Glasgow derby between Celtic and Rangers. The appointment was announced on the SFA website.

It will be the first Glasgow derby that Beaton has taken charge of since a highly controversial encounter between the teams in December 2018 which left Celtic fuming.

Rangers won the game 1-0, and were worthy of their win, as Celtic failed to turn up on the day. However, a series of incidents took place during the game which infuriated Celtic so much that the club released a statement after the game.

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Striker involved in three incidents

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos appeared to stamp on Anthony Ralston during the game. He also grabbed Ryan Christie by the same player, and kicked out at Scott Brown. However, he was not sent-off during the game for these incidents by Beaton.

Alfredo Morelos kicks Scott Brown in the last derby refereed by John Beaton

Alfredo Morelos kicks Scott Brown in the last derby refereed by John Beaton (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

To make matters worse, no disciplinary action was taken against Morelos by the SFA. The reason given for the decision not to charge Morelos with violent conduct as reported by talkSport was that Beaton saw the incidents at the time.

Hoops released statement after game

That prompted Celtic to release a statement calling on Beaton to explain why he had made the decisions that he did, and to also request a meeting with the SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell.

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Scott Brown after the game, Celtic went on to win the title that season

Scott Brown after the game, Celtic went on to win the title that season (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Beaton didn’t explain why he decided not to take action against Morelos. The incidents have mostly been forgotten about until now. That will change in the build-up to next week’s derby though.

 

It will be interesting to see how Beaton handles the game. It will of course be a very different Glasgow derby than anyone is used to. The reason for that – no crowds.

The crowd can’t get on the referee to show their anger with his decision. Neil Lennon is a smart man. He won’t say much about the appointment of Beaton.

He will just get his team prepared for perhaps the most unique Glasgow derby that has ever been played.

In other news, Nir Bitton has not spoken to Neil Lennon since declaring himself fit to play for Israel.

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