THE Alfredo Morelos exclusive interview on Sky Sports has been taken off the air by the broadcasters after they came under fire for an inaccurate translation.
The Ibrox striker had apparently accused Celtic fans of racially abusing him after he had been red-carded in the match at Parkhead in December.
However, it has now emerged what he actually said bears little resemblance to what was reported by the satellite giants, according to a report in the Daily Record.
In a swift reaction to the criticism, Sky Sports have taken down their interview.
A full transcript of the 1000-plus word Q&A feature was published on the Sky Sports website along with an accompanying video and subtitles at 6am yesteray.
But as footage was shared on social media platforms, Spanish speakers questioned the correlation between Morelos’ comments and the subtitles accompanying what was broadcast by Sky.
And, despite being quoted as attacking Celtic supporters for racially abusing him, it emerged the 23-year-old striker made NO direct reference to Hoops fans aiming offensive chants towards him.
The interview – the first from the Colombian striker since he came to Scotland – was conducted by Sky Sports News reporter Craig Slater at the club’s Hummel Training Centre.
A spokesman said: “We are aware of concerns raised about the content of the interview with Alfredo Morelos, while we are checking those we have removed the material from all our platforms.”
The controversial forward is said to have only a cursory grasp of English and spoke in Spanish.
According to the interview, Morelos, who had been ordered off for a blatant dive inside the box, said: “In the match against Celtic we were winning in added time. I fell down. Whether that is simulation or not is up to the referee.
“Afterwards, it was very frustrating to hear the crowd screaming at me. They were saying offensive and racist words.”
But what he really said was: “Against Celtic, we were winning 2-0. (It was 2-1.) I don’t know if I fell or whatever, but I wasn’t trying to win a penalty.
“The referee decided to send me off. That’s fine, that’s his decision. But the gesture I made wasn’t racist.”
South American football expert Simon Edwards, based in Morelos’ native Colombia, took to social media to call it the “the worst translation I have ever seen in my life”.
And he added: “This Morelos situation gives a fascinating insight into how ineptitude, a lack of due diligence and pushing an established narrative can lead to a complete distortion of the truth.
“That is not to say some Celtic fans may not also be guitly of vile, racist abuse but Morelos is careful to discuss incidents rather than make it an attack on a particular club.
“He was diplomatic and careful in his choice of words, but that didn’t stop the story focusing on Celtic.”