Police probe texts sent to Old Firm row referee

2019-01-06 10:40

London - Scottish police are looking into texts sent to Glasgow derby referee John Beaton after his phone details were leaked online.

Beaton found himself in an uncomfortable spotlight after taking charge of Rangers' 1-0 win over arch-rivals and Scottish champions Celtic last weekend.

Celtic fans were enraged by the 36-year-old Beaton's failure to take action against Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos, with Hoops chiefs seeking an explanation as to why the Colombian forward escaped punishment for any one of three possible offences.

Following the match, Beaton was inundated with offensive messages and a Police Scotland statement issued Saturday said: "We can confirm that a complaint has been made to police regarding texts and calls received by a 36-year-old man. Police enquiries are ongoing into this matter."

Old Firm clashes have long led to accusations of poor officiating, with supporters of both Glasgow giants Celtic and Rangers believing their side are the victims of bias and, in some cases, even a conspiracy going all the way to the very top of the Scottish Football Association.

But SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell insisted Saturday there was no place for threats against referees at whatever level of the game.

"It is with deep dismay, that in the last 24 hours, we learnt of one of our match officials having had threats made against him and his family," he said in a statement.

"We are in close contact with those involved and with Police Scotland to ensure that they are safe and that those responsible are identified and held accountable for their actions."

He added: "This is not the first time in recent weeks that our match officials have been targeted. Another referee was allegedly threatened and assaulted at a lower-league game prior to Christmas."

Morelos, Rangers' leading scorer, appeared to kick out at Celtic captain Scott Brown, stand on Anthony Ralston and flick out his hand at Ryan Christie's groin area during the victory on December 29 which took Steven Gerrard's team level on points with the Premiership leaders.

However, Whyte said she was unable to take any further action after Beaton confirmed he saw all three incidents in their entirety during the game.


Read more on:    celtic  |  rangers  |  soccer


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