RYAN CHRISTIE has hit back at Dolly Menga for headbutting him – as the SFA prepare to ban the Livingston striker for two games.
The Celtic midfielder, who agreed a new three-year deal yesterday, admitted he was surprised referee Kevin Clancy took no action after the Belgium-born Angolan international frontman pushed his head aggressively into his face as he defended the goal-line at a throw-in during the first-half of the goalless draw in West Lothian on Sunday.
However, SFA compliance officer Clare Whyte is reviewing video evidence and likely to announce later today Menga will be offered a two-game suspension that will see him miss the crucial Premiership games against Rangers and Motherwell.
The bustling attacker actually scored the only goal of the match when Gary Holt’s battlers overcame Steven Gerrard’s men earlier in the campaign.
Christie said: “We want to cut that kind of thing out of football completely and rightly so. If the officials have seen something, then it’s surprising that he has not been shown a red card. There was no build-up to it or anything like that, it just came out of nowhere.
“It took me by surprise and it took me a few seconds to realise he has just put the head on me.
“The referee called us both over which made me think he’d seen something as there was nothing else to be seen other than that.
“I thought he’d seen something because he gave him a right talking-to, but no action was taken.
THREE AGAINST ONE…Livingston striker Dolly Menga takes on Celtic trio Dedryck Boyata, Kristoffer Ajer and Scott Sinclair. Pic: Geo.
“The referee told us both to calm down and told Menga especially to calm down and that he was watching him, which kind of suggested it was more him than me that was up to something.
“I’ve seen it back and it comes out of nowhere. It was a strange one. There’s always pushing and shoving like that at corners and free-kicks. That’s part of the game now, so I didn’t really think he had much reason to do something like that. I was never going to go rolling down on the ground because it didn’t hurt me.
“It will be interesting to see what happens now and if they do anything.”
Menga, remarkably, was involved in action replay in the second-half when he charged forward and bundled the Hoops player over the line as he again prepared to take his place at Scott Bain’s left-hand post.
Once again, though, neither Clancy nor his match officials spotted an infringement.
However, Menga may still find himself forced onto the sidelines after today’s review of the flashpoint incident.