The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Beale ban was for accusing referee of bias

- By Graeme Croser

RANGERS coach Michael Beale has broken his silence on the Old Firm incident that landed him a five-match ban, conceding his punishment was served for a flashpoint with referee Kevin Clancy and not Celtic coach John Kennedy.

Beale admits he was censured by the Scottish FA for levelling an accusation of bias at Clancy following the red card shown to Alfredo Morelos in stoppageti­me of Rangers’ 2-1 victory at Parkhead on December 29.

The former Liverpool coach was sent to the stand by the referee and exchanged words with Kennedy as he made his way up the tunnel.

‘I called the referee’s integrity into question and have accepted that I could not accuse him of cheating,’ said Beale, speaking before Rangers’ 4-1 win at

Hamilton in the Scottish Cup yesterday. ‘The incident with John was nothing and is now resolved.

‘We have a long-running relationsh­ip from 2011 when I visited Scotland to educate coaches for the SFA in my Chelsea days. There is no animosity between us at all.’

On Thursday, Beale attended an SFA hearing at Hampden at which he was sanctioned with an immediate threematch touchline ban, with a further two games suspended. He watched yesterday’s game at Hamilton from the stand and will also be absent from the technical area as Rangers return to league business at Kilmarnock in midweek and Livingston next weekend. Fellow coach Tom Culshaw was also absent from manager Steven Gerrard’s team in the dugout as he served a ban handed down for a separate touchline incident in a December game against Hibernian. A further charge against Rangers for the behaviour of coaching staff in matches against Hibs and Celtic has been adjourned to a later date.

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