Sports

Police probe texts sent to Old Firm row referee

London – Scottish police are looking into texts sent to 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 Glasgow 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."

Meanwhile Celtic have announced they want to meet with Scottish Football Association chief executive Ian Maxwell after the governing body's compliance officer, Clare Whyte, decided not to take retrospective action against Morelos.

Rangers' leading score this season 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.

Celtic released a statement expressing "surprise" at Whyte's decision and they now want to meet with Maxwell and the SFA's head of refereeing, John Fleming.

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