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Gers blast decision to single out Alves and call for system overhaul


By Andy Newport

Rangers have responded angrily to 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.

The Portuguese has been handed a two-game ban for allegedly taking a swipe at Motherwell frontman Louis Moult.

It is also understood Gers manager Pedro Caixinha is facing a one-match ban after his touchline squabble with Well boss Stephen Robinson during his side's 2-0 Hampden defeat.

But Ibrox bosses are angry that no action has been taken against any of the Fir Park squad.

Gers - who will appeal Alves' ban and face Kilmarnock tonight - are furious in particular that Ryan Bowman has not been charged by SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan.

Bowman escaped a second booking despite leaving Gers defender Fabio Cardoso with a broken nose after swinging an arm into 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 Gers hitman Eduardo Herrera, Alves was not even spoken to by referee Steven McLean.

But after reviewing footage, 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.

"There were many aspects of the match which caused concern, both for player safety and the way in which we want to encourage players to play the game.

"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? 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."

The SFA had no comment to make on Rangers' statement when contacted yesterday.

Rangers vs Kilmarnock

Scottish Premiership:

Ibrox, Tonight, 7.45pm

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