Hibernian chief executive Leeann Dempster said one supporter will be banned for life as the embarrassed and furious CEO raged after Rangers captain James Tavernier was confronted by a fan in an ugly scene on Friday.
A Hibs fan was arrested and led away by police after he attempted to kick the ball away from Tavernier during the 1-1 Scottish Premiership draw at Easter Road.
Tavernier was bending down to pick up the ball when he was confronted by the fan on the stroke of half-time before the pair laid hands on each other.
The shocking incident came less than a week after Celtic’s Scott Sinclair was almost struck by a glass bottle during the club’s Scottish Cup quarter-final victory at Easter Road.
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“They’ve embarrassed this club tonight again, it’s completely and utterly unacceptable,” Dempster told BBC Radio Scotland. “What are we going to be talking about tomorrow [Saturday]? What is going to be on the back pages of the paper? What are you going to be asking me about? You’re going to be asking me about this utter idiot.
“There is a big debate, a healthy debate going on in the Scottish game. But I’m going to bring it back to personal responsibility. Who thought it was okay to come in here with a glass bottle and throw it? Who thinks it’s alright to jump over an advertising hoarding? Ninety-nine-point-nine per cent of the people in here don’t think it’s okay and we ought to remember not to tarnish these guys as well.
“This individual will be banned for life. He’s in custody at the minute and that’s where he should remain as far as I’m concerned. This person and people like him are going to feel the full weight of what we, and hopefully Police Scotland, can deliver.”
“I had to write to Celtic and Scott Sinclair to apologise and I’ve had to apologise to James downstairs. I apologised on behalf of the club, I told him the individual was in custody,” she said.
“I said to him we were embarrassed by it and James was gracious and took our apology.”
Asked if sections of the ground could be closed, Dempster said: “I don’t think anything is off the table, to be honest. Instead of talking about a good game of football we are talking about an idiot – again. So nothing can be off the table.”
Hibs manager Paul Heckingbottom, who watched his side earn a share of the spoils against Steve Gerrard’s Rangers, added: “I should be here talking to you about how proud I am of the players and yet again I’m getting asked questions about fan misbehaviour. We need it to stop. It’s sad I’m not here raving to you about how proud I am of the players. I have to speak about something else.”
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