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Rangers hit out at SFA, Hibs response to cup final invasion

Rangers have taken aim at the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and Hibernian following the troubling scenes at the end of Saturday’s Scottish Cup final.

Captain David Gray headed home a stoppage-time winner to earn Hibs a dramatic 3-2 victory at Hampden Park and end a 114-year for Scottish Cup glory.

However, the occasion was soured by a mass pitch invasion at full time, following which Rangers claimed that players and staff were attacked by Hibs supporters.

The SFA launched an investigation with Police Scotland to determine how security was breached to such a high scale.

But Rangers have been left disappointed by the response to the pitch invasion and have released a second statement, criticising Hibs chairman Rod Petrie and the SFA, while also defending Gers supporters that encroached the pitch.

In a lengthy statement, the club said: “Rangers finds it incomprehensible that no one, either from within the Scottish FA or Hibernian Football Club, has condemned Hibernian’s supporters following the violent scenes at the end of yesterday’s Scottish Cup final when Rangers players and members of our backroom staff were physically and verbally assaulted. 

“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.

“There must be a full independent investigation into the shameful scenes at Hampden. Rangers is also at a complete loss to understand why certain individuals have hastily attempted to gloss over the appalling events which unfolded at the end of Saturday’s final.

“No matter how many times Hibernian’s chairman and Scottish FA vice-chairman, Rod Petrie, and certain other biased commentators wish to play down Saturday’s mayhem and violence, the truth must not be distorted.

“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.

“It was clear to most of those who watched in horror that the Scottish FA’s security procedures failed when Hibernian’s fans went over the top in their thousands.  

“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.

“We acknowledge that a tiny minority of Rangers fans also encroached on the pitch but only after having been faced with prolonged and severe provocation and in order to protect our players and officials who were being visibly attacked in front of them. Any club’s supporters would have done the same.”

Sun 22 May, 2016
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