CELTIC have vowed to vigorously defend Ryan Christie after he was cited by the SFA for an incident involving Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos during Sunday’s Old Firm game, saying they are astonished at the charge.

Christie could face a two-game ban for appearing to grab Morelos by the testicles as the Colombian turned away from him during the game. Christie had already been booked during the match, but while referee Kevin Clancy spotted the incident and awarded a free-kick to Rangers, he took no further action against the Celtic man.

The case has been fast-tracked by the SFA, meaning the hearing will take place on January 6th. If found guilty of breaking Disciplinary Rule 200, which concerns a challenge which ‘endangers the safety of an opponent or uses excessive force or brutality’, Christie will miss the Scottish Cup tie away to Partick Thistle immediately after the winter break and the Premiership match at Kilmarnock.

A Celtic spokesperson said: "We are absolutely astonished at this decision. Clearly we will defend Ryan vigorously."

Meanwhile, Celtic also released a statement yesterday regarding the conduct of Rangers supporters at Celtic Park on Sunday as the tit-for-tat continued between the Glasgow clubs.

Rangers released their own statement on Monday accusing Celtic fans of racially abusing Morelos, and Celtic have now hit back, with the club understood to be angry about chants from the away section relating to striker Leigh Griffiths’ mental health, the Lisbon Lions and child abuse.

The statement read: "We are aware of a number of incidents from Sunday's match including Celtic supporters being targeted with missiles from the away support, something which has unfortunately happened on numerous occasions previously.

"We are also aware of a number of other unsavoury incidents involving the away support, including sickening chants directed at our players and supporters.

"However, as we always do, Celtic will deal with these and all other incidents responsibly and in a dignified and professional manner and in a way which protects the greater good of the game."