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Ross County clear Michael Gardyne following accusations of homophobic slur

Ross County v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – Global Energy Stadium
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Ross County have cleared Michael Gardyne of using a homophobic slur during this month’s clash with Rangers.

The veteran midfielder found himself at the centre of accusations during his side’s 4-0 defeat following a clash with Alfredo Morelos.

The incident happened just before half-time, with Gers defender Connor Goldson reacting furiously to something Gardyne said.

Goldson could be seen remonstrating with referee John Beaton, while Ibrox boss Steven Gerrard marched onto the pitch at half-time to confront the official.

Beaton did book the County player for using “foul and abusive language” but the PA news agency understands there was nothing picked up by either the officials or the nearby TV microphones which would have merited stronger action.

Gardyne’s agent Tom Callaghan insists the only phrase his client used was “f***y”.

And now the Staggies have decided no further action is required against their own player following an internal investigation.

The Dingwall club said in a statement: “Following an incident involving Michael Gardyne during our recent home fixture against Rangers the club has now concluded an internal investigation.

“As a result the club will be taking no further action against the player and no further comment will be made.”

It has been reported that Scottish Football Association compliance officer Claire Whyte was considering her own investigation but Hampden chiefs have yet to confirm if action will be taken.

Speaking at the time, Gerrard said: “What my players are saying they heard, it shouldn’t be heard on a football pitch. That’s all I’m going to say on it.”

But County boss Stuart Kettlewell said after the match: “I can’t confirm or deny anything at this stage.

“What I do know is what the referee booked him for, I heard him confirm that in the tunnel at half-time. It wouldn’t suggest that it was anything more than that.

“I’ll need to get to the bottom of that myself and find out exactly the words that are said as I’m trying to concentrate on the game.

“But if there is something of a serious nature then rest assured, we will deal with it as a football club.

“I think everyone that listens to me on a weekly basis knows that I am pretty straight down the line in terms of how I deal with my players and the press.

“What I’m not going to do is throw one of my players under the bus until I get all the facts and actually what’s been said.

“But I’ll stress again I did hear what the referee said at half-time and what he booked him for.

“That’s the first version I’ve had of it and I’ll find out more.”