CELTIC were amazed to learn this afternoon that Ryan Christie had been banned for two games following the incident with Alfredo Morelos last month.

The midfielder has been found guilty of grabbing the controversial Colombian in a sensitive area as the champions lost 2-1 to Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side.

Christie was involved in a tussle with Morelos and the Parkhead side were stunned to hear a complaint had been lodged by SFA compliance officer Clare Whyte.

They will be enraged – as well as bemused – at the suspension that will see the 24-year-old Scotland international miss the Scottish Cup-tie against Partick Thistle at Firhill on Saturday, January 18 and the Premiership match against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park the following midweek.

He will also sit out the home game against Ross County with an additional punishment of one match with his red card against Livingston being taken into consideration.

Celtic had vowed to “vigorously defend” Christie, but their pleas have been dismissed by the SFA.

Making the decision even more bizarre was the fact Morelos made little of the confrontation and referee Kevin Clancy kept his cards in his pocket while awarding a free-kick to the visitors.

Morelos was involved with Christie at Ibrox last season when photographic evidence appeared to suggest he had been involved in a similar challenge.

Referee John Beaton waved play on and there was no follow-up by the compliance officer.


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