Chris Sutton and Ally McCoist clashed over the Celtic hero's claims that referees are running SCARED of Rangers and Alfredo Morelos.

The Colombian avoided a red card in Gers' midweek victory over Hibs at Easter Road for stamping on Ryan Porteous in seemingly clear view of whistler Kevin Clancy. Retrospective action was taken and the player now faces a three-match ban, but Sutton believes the Ibrox club have too much influence on decisions because refs are too worried to brandish cards.

READ MORE: Alfredo Morelos charged over 'stamp' on Hibs' Ryan Porteous as Rangers striker faces three-match ban

McCoist, however, laughed off his fellow pundit's suggestion and - while he admitted Clancy made an error not showing red to fiery Morelos - insisted it was not through fear.

Debating on BT Sport's SPFL Scottish Football Extra, Sutton kicked off: "Look, the whole situation with Morelos has been farcical for a long time. In Scotland the standard of refereeing has been appalling. They're possibly the worst group of referees in the world - I've seen other decisions this week like the penalty decisions at Dundee United, absolutely shocking.

"But how long is Morelos going to get away with this? I think, quite frankly, Morelos and Rangers intimidate referees.

Glasgow Times:

"Referees are scared to make a decision, pull out the red card. I think there have been four occasions this season when Morelos could have and should have been sent off, and we saw last season on numerous occasions, he's an accident waiting to happen."

McCoist responded: "We've seen it four or five times this season. The only issue - and I take Chris' point - the issue I've got is the referee's got a brilliant view of it. He's come out and said he thought it it was a tangle of legs and he gave Morelos the benefit of the doubt, that's fine. I didn't agree with it either."

"It was a martial arts move," Sutton added before continuing: "Sutton: "They're scared! Referees are scared of the Morelos situation and Steven Gerrard's influence and power. That's the way it is."

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Show host Darrell Currie pressed Sutton on genuine belief of intimidation, to which the Celtic legend went on: "Yes! Yes, I do [believe that]. How did he stay on the field then, if the referee has a good view of the incident? How many poor decisions have there been over Morelos, and stamping and hitting over the seasons, when he's gotten away with it? Come on."

McCoist added: "The bottom line is, the referee's made a mistake. He's not made a mistake through fear." Sutton went on to add that Morelos 'does what he wants' before claiming he could provide TEN pieces of evidence to support his argument.

And concluding the discussion, McCoist insisted: "You struggle to trust Alfredo Morelos."