Rangers defend Alfredo Morelos over cut-throat gesture aimed at Celtic fans as they claim striker is singled out for 'special attention'

Rangers have strongly defended striker Alfredo Morelos after the Colombian international was red-carded during Sunday's 2-1 Old Firm win over Celtic.

Alfredo Morelos makes his way from the pitch after being sent off against Celtic
Alfredo Morelos makes his way from the pitch after being sent off against Celtic

The 23-year-old was booked for a foul on Hoops captain Scott Brown in the 85th minute, and received a second caution in the sixth minute of injury time for simulation.

Morelos then made a throat-slitting gesture to the home supporters as he was goaded on his way off the pitch.

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Now the Ibrox club have defended the player, hitting out at the "sinister portrayal" of the gesture which they say is "commonly used throughout South America to indicate that something - in this case, the match - is finished."

A spokesperson added: "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."

The Light Blues also claimed in a wider statement backing the introduction of VAR in Scottish football that Celtic defender Christopher Jullien should have been penalised for a foul on Morelos when the Frenchman won the free kick.

"A number of other incidents, including the clear foul by Julien on Alfredo Morelos as he attempted to break clear, were also missed. Instead, and inexplicably, a foul was given against Alfredo," the statement added.