Police investigate threatening messages sent to Old Firm referee

Kevin Clancy was targeted with abuse after his contact details were posted online following Saturday's Old Firm game.

Police launch investigation into threatening messages sent to Old Firm ref Kevin Clancy SNS Group

Police Scotland are investigating a “significant” volume of abusive and threatening messages sent to Old Firm referee Kevin Clancy.

The Scottish Football Association say the official and his family were targeted after the game on Saturday when his personal and professional contact details were posted online.

Clancy was in charge as Celtic beat Rangers 3-2 at Parkhead to go 12 points clear at the top of the Premiership.

A statement from the SFA on Monday said the ref was sent a “series of unacceptable messages” that have now been reported to police.

The force said they treat all reports of that nature with the “utmost seriousness” as they launched their investigation on Tuesday.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We are investigating alleged threatening communications which were reported to us by the SFA today (Tuesday, April 11).

“All reports of this nature are treated with the utmost seriousness and will be investigated thoroughly.

“We will provide support to those affected as our investigation progresses.”

Clancy ruled out an early Alfredo Morelos strike with the score-line at 0-0 after the Rangers striker pushed Celtic defender Alistair Johnston to the ground in the build up to the goal.

But the SFA’s chief executive revealed the messages go “way beyond” criticism of his performance on the day and insisted some are “potentially criminal”.

Ian Maxwell said: “The nature of the messages goes way beyond criticism of performance and perceived decision-making – some are potentially criminal in nature and include threats and abuse towards Kevin and his family.

“We have referred the correspondence to the police and condemn this behaviour in the strongest possible terms, as well as the posting of a referee’s personal details online with the sole purpose of causing distress.

“Football is our national game. It improves and saves lives. Without referees, there is no game, and while decisions will always be debated with or without the use of VAR, we cannot allow a situation to develop where a referee’s privacy and safety, and those of his family, are compromised.

“We all have a responsibility to protect our game and those essential to it.”

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