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Crotch grab costs Celtic's Christie three-match ban

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London (AFP)

Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie has been handed a three-match ban for pulling down Rangers' striker Alfredo Morelos by the genitals in last month's Old Firm derby.

Christie, who has scored 17 goals in all competitions this season, was given a two-match ban for violent conduct by the Scottish Football Association on Monday.

As the 24-year-old has already been sent-off earlier this season at Livingston, an extra match is added to his sanction.

Christie was penalised for a foul, but escaped without being shown a second yellow card for the incident.

Morelos was sent-off in stoppage time as Rangers won the clash on December 29 2-1 to record their first win at Celtic Park in nine years.

Celtic claimed Christie was the victim of a similar offence at the hands of Morelos in Rangers' 1-0 Old Firm win in December 2018, but the Colombian did not face any sanction.

"The fact that a sanction has been imposed on Ryan for the incident in question demonstrates a worrying lack of consistency in the Scottish FA fast track process," Celtic said in a statement.

"Naturally, we will be contacting the Scottish FA regarding our concerns. Scottish football deserves a disciplinary process which is fair, consistent and fit for purpose."

Christie will miss a Scottish Cup tie at Partick Thistle and league matches against Kilmarnock and Ross County, but was already doubtful for those games after undergoing groin surgery in the wake of Celtic's first home league defeat in 19 months.

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