Police probe abusive messages sent to Rangers v Celtic referee John Beaton

Referee John Beaton has called in police after being targeted with threatening messages online in the wake of last weekend's Old Firm clash. Picture: PA Wire
Referee John Beaton has called in police after being targeted with threatening messages online in the wake of last weekend's Old Firm clash. Picture: PA Wire
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Police have confirmed they have received a complaint after referee John Beaton’s contact details were leaked online.

Press Association Sport revealed on Friday night the 36-year-old has been targeted by trolls in the wake of last weekend’s Old Firm clash.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “We can confirm that a complaint has been made to police regarding texts and calls received by a 36-year-old man. Police enquiries are ongoing into this matter.”

Beaton found himself at the centre of controversy after Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos escaped punishment during the Ibrox side’s victory over bitter rivals Celtic.

Parkhead chiefs have called on the Fifa-listed whistler to explain why he did not take action against the Colombian following three flashpoints with Hoops players.

But he was forced to call in police when his work mobile phone number was leaked on social media.

READ MORE: Rangers v Celtic referee John Beaton calls in Police over threats

The official has since been bombarded with dozens of threatening and abusive messages in WhatsApp.

Beaton is due to take charge of Ayr United’s clash with Falkirk at Somerset Park later on Saturday.

Celtic, meanwhile, have requested a meeting with Scottish Football Association chief executive Ian Maxwell after compliance officer Clare Whyte decided against taking retrospective action against Morelos.

The Light Blues’ top scorer appeared to kick out at Hoops skipper Scott Brown, stand on Anthony Ralston and flick out his hand at Ryan Christie’s groin area during the victory on December 29 which took Steven Gerrard’s team level on points with Brendan Rodgers’ Ladbrokes Premiership leaders.

However, Whyte was unable to take any further action after Beaton confirmed he saw all three incidents in their entirety during the game.

Celtic released a statement which expressed “surprise” at the decision and will look to meet with Maxwell and the SFA’s head of refereeing, John Fleming.