Rangers ‘astonished’ as Scottish FA back decision over disallowed Alfredo Morelos goal v Celtic

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The Ibrox club also condemned abuse of referee Kevin Clancy after he was targeted by threats on Monday.

Rangers have stated they are “astonished” at the Scottish FA’s response regarding the disallowed Alfredo Morelos goal in their 3-2 derby defeat to Celtic on Saturday.

The Ibrox club asked for clarification from the governing body over the contentious decision by referee Kevin Clancy’s to rule out Morelos’ strike in the first-half at Parkhead, which led to criticism from manager Michael Beale who was shocked by the incident, stating: “you look at Alfredo’s shirt, it’s twisted round his back and I don’t think their player is trying to play the ball.”

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The Light Blues confirmed in a statement released on Monday that they had received an answer from the SFA to why the goal never counted but were not happy with the explanation of the award made when the Colombian striker thought he had given his side the lead with the scoreline finely poised at 0-0.

Alfredo Morelos scores a disallowed goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers.Alfredo Morelos scores a disallowed goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers.
Alfredo Morelos scores a disallowed goal during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers.

Morelos was penalised for a push on Hoops right-back Alistair Johnston at the back post in the build up to the goal being scored and the decision was not overturned by VAR officials. Debate has since centered around whether the contact from the Gers frontman was sufficient to warrant a foul.

Former referee Stuart Dougal told BBC Scotland’s ‘The VARdict’ that VAR could not become involved as “it’s not seen as a clear and obvious error” due to the incident being “a bit 50-50”. However, the club believed they deserved a similar reaction given by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) to an incident in England.

News broke yesterday afternoon referee Clancy ha been targeted by threats after a “series of unacceptable messages” were sent via email and phone after his personal contact details were posted online and Rangers also condemned the abuse of the official.

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A club statement read: “Firstly, Rangers condemns in the strongest terms any abuse of match officials. We are all passionate about our game, but targeted, personal abuse of referees cannot be tolerated.

“The club can confirm the Scottish FA has responded with regards to the disallowed Alfredo Morelos goal, with the response claiming the correct decision was taken. The club is astonished by this, especially given most observers, including former referees and former players, could see no issue with the goal standing.

“This comes following a weekend in England where PGMOL have offered an apology to Brighton and Hove Albion for the non-award of a penalty in their match with Tottenham Hotspur, alongside a pledge to review the incident. While an apology does not alter the outcome of a match, such responsibility and openness would be welcome in Scotland.”

Scottish FA reaction

The SFA revealed that the security and integrity manager has been liasing with Clancy and have contacted Police Scotland to report the abuse aimed at the official and his family.

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Chief Executive Ian Maxwell said: “The nature of the messages goes way beyond criticism of performance and perceived decision-making - some are really potentially criminal in nature and include threats and abuse towards Kevin and his family. We have referred the correspondence to the police and condemn this behavious in the strongest possible terms, as well as the posting of a referee’s personal details online with the sole purpose of causing distress.

“Football is our national game. It improves and saves lives. Without referees, there is no game, and while decisions will always be debated with or without the use of VAR, we cannot allow a situation to develop where a referee’s privacy and safety, and those of his family, are compromised. We all have a responsibility to protect our game and those essential to it.”

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