December 31, 2019 / 6:28 PM / 22 days ago

Celtic's Christie risks ban for alleged genital grab

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Scottish Premiership - Celtic v Rangers - Celtic Park, Glasgow, Britain - December 29, 2019 Celtic's Ryan Christie shoots at goal REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

LONDON (Reuters) - Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie risks a two-match ban after allegedly trying to grab Rangers’ Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos by the genitals in Sunday’s Old Firm clash between the Glasgow sides.

The Scottish Football Association issued a fast track notice of complaint on Tuesday against the Scotland international for allegedly committing a sending off offence that went unseen by match officials.

Christie had already been booked before the incident at Parkhead. Television replays appeared to show him grabbing at Morelos’s groin.

The hearing will be on Jan. 6.

League leaders Celtic, who lost the game 2-1 with Christie missing a first half penalty, said they were astonished at the charge and would defend their player “vigorously”.

Media reports said Christie had needed groin surgery after the game following a separate tussle with Morelos.

Morelos was sent off for a second booking after a dive in stoppage time. Rangers have said the Colombian, who appeared to make a gesture with his hand across his neck to Celtic fans following his dismissal, suffered racial abuse.

A year ago, Morelos appeared to grab at Christie’s groin in the fixture at Ibrox but escaped retrospective action because the referee saw the incident at the time.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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