Rangers have hit out at the two-match ban offered to Bruno Alves by the Scottish FA’s compliance officer for appearing to kick out at Motherwell striker Louis Moult.
Tony McGlennan issued a notice of complaint after the incident during the Betfred cup semi final clash at Hampden on Sunday.
If Rangers and Alves choose to contest the ban rather than accepting it, the case could be heard at a fast-track tribunal at Hampden on Thursday.
The Portuguese veteran would miss the match with Kilmarnock tomorrow night and the trip to face Hearts at the weekend if he accepts the two-game ban.
Moult said after the game that Alves had admitted he should have been booked, but no action was taken by referee Steven McLean.
The Fir Park striker said: “I spoke to Bruno about it and said “you kicked out at me” and he agreed and I said it was probably a yellow card for him and me and he agreed.”
Rangers issued a statement, saying the club was ‘shocked’ by the offer of the two-match ban, adding: “In the minds of all fair-minded followers of football it will be seen as devoid of credibility and balance.
“Rangers are not seeking to make excuses for losing the match. Motherwell played to the referee’s whistle. That is their right but there were many aspects of the match which cause concern, both for player safety and the way in which we want to encourage players to play the game.
“We do not seek to personalise our criticism. The officials have to be respected, even where we might dispute the decisions that they reach. We do, however, have several players injured after the game - one seriously. Yet, this decision has singled out only one player - a Rangers player - for punishment.
“We find this inexplicable. Are we being asked to believe that just one player was guilty of violent conduct in Sunday’s game? If that is the case, then it is clear Rangers are being assessed to a different standard from others in the Scottish game.
“We believe the current system for referring matters to disciplinary tribunals requires radical overhaul. It is too easy for those with agendas to pick over and highlight minor incidents in a game, whilst ignoring the reality of what took place during the game as a whole.
“We do not know and will not be told who referred this matter, nor what motivated them. So much seems to turn on whether or not a referee was looking at an incident rather than on assessing what actually occurred.
“Incidents missed by a referee are judged to a far harsher standard that those observed by an official but called wrongly.
“Rangers share a common goal to all with the Scottish game at heart. We want to see good football. Referees have a crucial role to play in achieving that.
“We do not believe the current referral procedure assists them or benefits the Scottish game. Those of us who care about the Scottish game share an interest in enabling players to play without fear of serious injury rather than convening, with great solemnity, distinguished panels to adjudicate on matters the players themselves quickly shrug off as handbags.
“Rangers will be declining the offer of a two-match suspension.”
Rangers will learn on Thursday if their appeal has been successful.