RYAN CHRISTIE was deemed to have committed a deliberate act of “brutality” against Alfredo Morelos in the incident which saw the Celtic playmaker banned for three games.

The SFA has published the written reasons for the Scotland international being found guilty of violent conduct against the Ibrox striker who was red-carded in stoppage-time in his side’s win at Parkhead last month.

Compliance officer Clare Whyte, in the official account of the fast-track tribunal, found Christie had “deliberately committed a violent act whereby he struck an opponent in the groin, with excessive force when not challenging for the ball.

“It was submitted that this was not a reflex action or an unintended consequence.”

Christie and the club were amazed when they were handed a notice of complaint from the SFA after the match officials all confirmed they had not seen the alleged act at the time.

Referee Kevin Clancy, who had earlier booked the Celt, awarded the Ibrox outfit a free-kick for the challenge and did not caution the player.

The account added: “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.”

Christie defended himself by video link from Celtic’s training camp in Dubai, but the three-person panel found the compliance officer’s accusations proven.

He will miss the Scottish Cup-tie against Partick Thistle at Firhill a week tonight and the Premiership matches against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park the following Wednesday and the weekend visit of Ross County.


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