Rangers have slammed the Scottish Football Association’s “inexplicable” decision to single out Bruno Alves for punishment in the wake of Sunday’s feisty Betfred Cup semi-final and called for a radical overhaul of the system for referring matters to disciplinary tribunals.
Portugal international Alves has been offered a two-game ban for allegedly taking a swipe at Motherwell frontman Louis Moult.
It is also understood Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha, pictured inset, is facing a one-match ban after his touchline squabble with Motherwell counterpart Stephen Robinson during his side’s 2-0 Hampden defeat. Robinson’s fate will be decided at a hearing, the date of which is yet to be set.
But Ibrox bosses are angry that no action has been taken against any of the Fir Park squad. Rangers – who will appeal against Alves’ ban – are furious in particular that Ryan Bowman has not been charged by SFA compliance office Tony McGlennan.
Bowman escaped a second booking on Sunday despite leaving Rangers defender Fabio Cardoso with a broken nose after swinging an arm in his rival’s face. Cardoso also left Motherwell’s double goal hero Moult bloodied after clashing during the first half but it is understood both incidents have been viewed as “reckless” rather than malicious.
McGlennan has, though, issued Alves with a notice of complaint after the 35-year-old appeared to lash out with both feet as he and Moult tangled towards the end of the match. While Moult was booked after a further squabble with Rangers hitman Eduardo Herrera, Alves was not even spoken to by referee Steven McLean.
But after reviewing footage of the incident, McGlennan has decided to charge Alves and the case will go before a hearing tomorrow.
Rangers remain deeply unhappy with the way the case has been handled. In a statement, a Rangers spokesperson said: “Rangers are shocked by this decision. 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. 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. 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 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.
“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.”