CELTIC defender Jozo Simunovic avoided an SFA charge following a clash with Jermain Defoe because the three-man disciplinary panel failed to reach a unanimous decision.

The Croatian centre-back went through the same process as Jon Flanagan for an alleged elbow, but there was not unanimous agreement, according to the Daily Record.

The Ibrox left-back clearly elbowed Scott Brown in the face as they lined up in the penalty box for a 51st-minute corner-kick.

Flanagan copped a retrospective two-match ban, as CQN predicted early yesterday, after referee Kevin Clancy had remarkably opted to only issue a yellow card for the flashpoint incident from Sunday’s encounter in Govan.

The match official and his assistants took no action in the Simunovic/Defoe coming together which was also put under the SFA microscope by compliance officer Clare Whyte.

The decision to cite the former Liverpool defender and not punish the Hoops star has incensed the Ibrox side who, instead of being relieved to have been allowed to play 39 minutes minutes of the game with a full team, have issued a petulant statement.

It reads: “Once again, there seems intent to change the decision of a referee in a match involving Rangers.

THUD…Scott Brown takes it on the chin as Jon Flanagan thumps a right elbow into his face.

“There seems to be a steady erosion of respect for Scotland’s referees and the authority they are meant to enjoy under Rule 5 of the Laws of the Game.

“The decisions of referees regarding facts connected with play are meant to be final, but referees are now routinely invited to change their decisions after a game has finished.

“It is particularly shocking that another Rangers’ player has been singled out for retrospective action and issued with a notice of complaint while Jozo Simunovic, the Celtic player who used an elbow to fell Jermain Defoe, has escaped any kind of censure.

“Why did one incident escape punishment while the other is now deemed worthy of a red card?

“We cannot understand how these two incidents could be studied, yet only one be considered worthy of punishment.

“It seems as if Rangers’ players are being held to a different code of conduct from players at other clubs.

“We shall vigorously defend Mr Flanagan and have also asked for full transparency on what matters are brought forward for retrospective action. Are those decisions being made even-handedly?”

CQN published the statement in full after checking the calendar to make sure it was not April 1.

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