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Scottish police have confirmed they will be launching an investigation after reports of racist abuse marred the latest Old Firm clash.
Rangers claim striker Alfredo Morelos was targeted by rival fans following the striker’s 96th minute red card as they beat their city rivals 2-1 in a typically fiery encounter at Celtic Park.
A video circulating on social media appears to show Moralos leaving the pitch following his dismissal with the sound of Celtic supporters shouting sectarian slurs at the player.
The Colombian is then seen making an apparent finger-across-the-throat gesture as before making his way down the tunnel.
“We can confirm we are investigating a complaint of racist chants directed at a Rangers player at the Celtic vs Rangers SPFL match on Sunday, 29 December, 2019,” a Police Scotland spokesperson said.
“A complaint of offensive social media material has been also made and will be investigated.
“Enquiries are ongoing.”
Rangers had earlier made the claim in the immediate aftermath of the game, however Celtic said they were aware of Morelos’ own gesture but not of any abuse towards him by their supporters
“We believe Alfredo was racially abused and we would expect now that all measures will be taken to identify and deal with those responsible.” a Rangers spokesman said.
“We are aware of the gestures made by the player towards Celtic supporters,” a Celtic statement said in response. “We have received no reports of any racial abuse but would fully investigate any should these be brought to our attention.”
Rangers then hit back with a strongly-worded statement of their own defending their player.
“There can be little doubt Alfredo is singled out for special attention, on and off the field of play. Indeed, some of the things said and written about him leave a lot to be desired and do nothing to suggest Scottish football is the most welcoming of environments.
“Even Alfredo’s gesture as he left the pitch is now being portrayed in some quarters as something sinister when, in fact, it is a gesture used commonly throughout South America to indicate quite simply that something – in this case, the match – is finished.”