Rangers demand Hampden ‘shame’ inquiry

Mounted police at HampdenImage copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Mounted police took to the Hampden pitch following the invasion by fans

Rangers have demanded an independent investigation into the “shameful scenes” at the Scottish Cup final.

A statement from the club says Rangers FC players and backroom staff were physically and verbally assaulted when Hibernian fans invaded the pitch at the end of Saturday’s game.

The club said it was “incomprehensible” that no-one from the Scottish FA or Hibernian had condemned the violence.

It also hit out at Nicola Sturgeon for not condemning Hibs fans.

The statement accused the football authorities of trying to “gloss over” the incident.

Hibs won the cup final at Hampden Stadium 3-2.

The Edinburgh club’s first cup win since 1902 was marred by thousands of fans invading the pitch at full-time.

‘Complete insult’

The police brought horses on to the Hampden pitch to control the crowds, including a section from the Rangers end of the ground.

The pitch invasion delayed the presentation of the trophy and there was no lap of honour for Hibs players.

Rangers players were not able to pick up their cup final medals.

A Rangers statement on Sunday evening said: “We have not even had the courtesy of any contact whatsoever from Hibernian to ask after the wellbeing of those who were attacked by their club’s supporters.”

It continued: “What unfolded on Saturday cannot and must not be put down to exuberance. That is a complete insult to Rangers, our supporters, and those individuals who were intimidated and attacked.”

Image copyright

Image caption

Sections of the pitch were ripped up

Image caption

The goal posts at Hampden were broken

The Rangers statement goes on to condemn the failure of the Scottish FA’s “inadequate” security arrangements.

The Glasgow club acknowledged that a “tiny minority” of their supporters encroached on to the pitch but said this was after “prolonged and severe provocation and in order to protect our players and officials who were being visibly attacked in front of them”.

Rangers added: “It is to be hoped that all of Scottish football will share Rangers’ disgust and any attempts to attach blame to our supporters for the disgraceful and violent behaviour, which led to our players and fans fearing for their safety, will not be accepted or tolerated by this club.”

‘Biased commentators’

The statement said the Rangers fans were “goaded and threatened” by Hibs fans who had rushed to their end of the ground. It said it was “preposterous to suggest Rangers fans were somehow to blame as some commentators appear anxious to do”.

The Rangers statement also hit out at Scottish government ministers, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who had passed comment on social media without condemning the behaviour of Hibs fans.

Ms Sturgeon, whose husband Peter Murrell is a Hibs supporter, wrote on Twitter: “Congratulations @HibsOfficial – my other half @PeterMurrell is just one of thousands of happy Hibees tonight. #ScottishCupFinal.”

Image copyright

Image caption

The team paraded through the capital on an open-top bus

Image copyright

Image caption

Players and fans were celebrating the club’s first Scottish Cup win since 1902

Image copyright

Media outlets, including the BBC, were also targeted in the Rangers statement.

After Saturday’s game, Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said: “Scottish FA is appalled by the scenes of disorder on the field immediately after full time and at the contemptible behaviour that ensued.

“What should have been an historic, memorable Scottish Cup final will now, sadly, be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

“The Scottish FA, along with Police Scotland and the stadium management have initiated a full investigation into the scenes that unfolded to understand how such a volume of supporters were able to enter the field.”

Police Scotland has set up a specialist team to investigate the disorder and said 11 arrests had so far been made for minor offences.

comments powered by Disqus