CELTIC have hit out at the SFA’s decision to let Dundee United’s Calum Butcher off the hook.

The champions claim the Hampden chiefs’ verdict could even cost them in Sunday’s League Cup Final. Paul Paton was sent off by referee Craig Thomson’s in last weekend’s Scottish Cup stalemate  at Tannadice in a case of mistaken identity.

Paton is likely to win a reprieve after lodging an “it wisnae me” appeal, but Butcher gets let off.

And a Hoops statement read: “Celtic Football Club notes that no action appears to have been taken in relation to Calum Butcher of Dundee United.

“It seems completely illogical and fundamentally unfair that, in an incident where mistaken identity has been claimed, the Dundee United player now identified clearly as being involved in the incident appears to have no case to answer – and would be available to play in the League Cup Final and the Scottish Cup replay between the two teams – while Celtic’s player may potentially miss both of those matches.

“Celtic Football Club and Virgil van Dijk maintain their position that no red card offence was committed by Virgil.

“Virgil will appear at Hampden to put his case on Thursday and we will fully support him in this appeal.”

If Butcher is free to play in the League Cup Final on Sunday then the SFA should ensure that their officials’ error does not penalize one side and not the other in the double sending off at Tannadice. The ONLY way for them to achieve this is to rescind the red card given to Van Dijk.

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