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CONFIRMED: ROW REF IN CHARGE

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JOHN BEATON will take charge of Celtic’s opening Glasgow derby of the season against Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side at Parkhead a week tomorrow.

The SFA have confirmed the appointment of the referee who will be the man in the middle of this fixture for the first time since December 29, 2018, according to a report in the Scottish Sun.

The match official enraged Celtic with his controversial decisions in the game which the Ibrox side won 1-0 with a diverted shot from Ryan Jack in the first-half of a stormy encounter in Govan.

Coincidentally, Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos figured in THREE flashpoint incidents in the match – and escaped punishment in all three which incensed the champions’ hierarchy, the players and the fans.

The temperamental forward appeared to kick Hoops skipper Scott Brown with Beaton on yards away, but he took no action against the home player.

Morelos was then involved in an incident with Ryan Christie that looked like a grab below the waistline. Once again, the ref refused to reach for a card.

Remarkably, he is also turned a blind eye to the Ibrox player for what looked like a clear stamp on defender Anthony Ralston who was on the ground when Morelos made contact.

Furious Parkhead bosses later issued a statement calling on the SFA to allow Beaton to explain his decisions publicly.

They said: “Celtic Football Club is surprised that there will be no disciplinary action taken by the Scottish FA regarding the incidents during the match on December 29, which have been widely addressed in the media.

“It is reported that no action was taken because the match referee saw all of the incidents in question.

“Given that the referee took no action at the time, this tends to suggest that such conduct, which in one instance led to a Celtic player, Anthony Ralston, being injured, is acceptable in Scottish football. That cannot be right.”

It added: “In order to fully understand what is going on, Celtic, our supporters, Scottish clubs and the general Scottish football public need transparency in these matters, and we therefore call on the Scottish FA to allow the referee, John Beaton, to explain these decisions publicly as well as any match officials involved in other similar circumstances.”

At Parkhead, Beaton will be assisted by Graeme Stewart and David Roome, with Don Robertson the fourth official.

 
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