An unnamed Scottish FA panel consisting of three former referees upheld the decision of the Compliance Officer to hand a multiple-match ban to Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie, STV report.
The outlet is quoting from the official reasoning given by the governing body for the suspension, which is unlikely to appease a fuming Celtic that have hit back this week at the decision.
The Scotland international has been accused of a deliberate act of brutality against Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos after a collision at Celtic Park in last week’s derby and will now miss three matches.
As quoted by STV, the Scottish FA stated: “Given the sensitivity of the area of the body targeted by the alleged party, the Compliance Officer categorised the act as one involving brutality and also submitted that this was manifestly apparent from the video footage available of the incident.
“The three former match officials, following a review of the video footage had each separately confirmed that the alleged act amounted to a sending off offence for violent conduct. Two of these former match officials believed that brutality was also evident.”
If you’ve seen the footage yourself you might be feeling perplexed at this view of the incident.
Morelos managed to bring the ball away from Christie, with the Celtic man caught out and reaching out to hold him back. It was no doubt a foul, but an act of brutality? Not for me.
Clearly the panel think it was a malicious act but surely you have to give Christie the benefit of the doubt. It’s the kind of incident that happens at football grounds up and down the country every season.
It didn’t seem like a deliberate attempt to injure an opponent to me and how the SFA can prove the Celtic star deliberately had intent to commit violence is beyond me.
It’ll now be interesting to see what Celtic’s response to this official reasoning is.
Our club captain and manager have both defended Christie this week.
Will our board now take more official steps to protect the reputation of the midfielder?