Rangers are not happy that Jon Flanagan has been retrospectively banned for elbowing Celtic captain Scott Brown during Sunday’s derby victory at Ibrox, as reported by The Scottish Sun.
The Gers defender received a yellow card from referee Kevin Clancy for the incident but the Scottish FA have deemed it necessary to hand out further punishment, despite letting Jozo Simunovic off the hook for a similar action against Jermain Defoe in the same match.
As quoted by the paper, the club said in a statement:
Once again, there seems intent to change the decision of a referee in a match involving Rangers. There seems to be a steady erosion of respect for Scotland’s referees and the authority they are meant to enjoy under Rule 5 of the laws of the game.
The decisions of referees regarding facts connected with play are meant to be final but referees are now routinely invited to change their decisions after a game has finished.
It is particularly shocking that another Rangers player has been singled out for retrospective action and issued with a notice of complaint while Jozo Simunovic, the Celtic player who used an elbow to fell Jermain Defoe, has escaped any kind of censure.
Why did one incident escape punishment while the other is now deemed worthy of a red card?
We cannot understand how these two incidents could be studied yet only one be considered worthy of punishment.
It seems as if Rangers’ players are being held to a different code of conduct from players at other clubs.
The decision is just the latest in a long line of bizarre ones this season from football authorities in Scotland.
The retrospective action process isn’t working and all clubs in the Scottish Premiership should be looking for the Hampden chiefs to offer a new way forward ahead of the new season.
Fouls and incidents being re-litigated after a match, even if the referee has seen and acted on them makes the whole thing a bit of a farce as far as I’m concerned.
It’s not about Flanagan being banned, but again the SFA being inconsistent and not fit for purpose.