POLICE SCOTLAND has been alerted to “potentially criminal” abuse of referee Kevin Clancy after Celtic’s 3-2 win in the Glasgow derby at the weekend.
The match official’s personal details have been published online and the SFA immediately informed the law.
Clancy was targeted following a flashpoint incident when he ruled out an effort from Alfredo Morelos in the 20th minute and film footage has since clearly showed the Colombian forward had pushed Hoops defender Alistair Johnston in the back before making contact with a right-wing corner-kick.
VAR did not get involved and the decision looked sound, but the Ibrox hierarchy fired off a letter asking the Scotland ruling football body for an explanation. The SFA have confirmed the Referee Operations team have responded to the request.
HANDS UP…no matter which way you look at it, Alfredo Morelos is pushing Celtic defender Alistair Johnston as the ball drops into the penalty area from a right-wing corner-kick.
Chief executive Ian Maxwell said: “The nature of the messages goes way beyond criticism of performance and perceived decision-making – some are 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 behaviour 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.”
NO GOAL…Alistair Johnston is on the deck as referee Kevin Clancy immediately awards a free-kick.
An SFA statement read: “The Scottish FA has referred a significant volume of threatening and abusive emails to Police Scotland after personal and professional contact details of Saturday’s Old Firm referee, Kevin Clancy, were published online following the derby match.
“The association’s security and integrity manager has been liaising with Kevin and Police Scotland following a series of unacceptable messages being sent via email and phone over the holiday weekend.
“We offer our full support to Kevin and reiterate our wider support to the referee community.”
Celtic are due to play their city neighbours for the fifth time this season in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on April.
A match official and the refereeing team have yet to be announced.