Rangers demand investigation into crowd trouble at end of Scottish Cup final

Hibernian fans invade the pitch after the William Hill Scottish Cup Final
Hibernian fans invade the pitch after the William Hill Scottish Cup Final

Rangers have reiterated their calls for an investigation in the crowd trouble which marred Saturday’s Scottish Cup final after criticising Hibernian chairman Rod Petrie’s attempts to downplay the violent scenes at Hampden.

Several Rangers players were assaulted as thousands of Hibernian fans flooded on to the pitch following the Edinburgh club’s dramatic 3-2 triumph.

Footage showed Lee Wallace being punched and goalkeeper Wes Foderingham attacked as the celebratory pitch invasion turned ugly.

Dozens of Rangers fans also came on to the pitch and fights broke out between rival supporters, while Hibs fans broke one of the goalposts and ripped up sections of the Hampden turf.

Petrie, who is the vice-president of the Scottish Football Association, put the scenes down to “over-exuberance” in the immediate aftermath and described them as “unacceptable”.

A club statement later confirmed Hibs would “co-operate fully into any inquiry into the pitch invasion which followed the club’s historic Scottish Cup win at Hampden Park”.

However, Rangers have again reacted angrily and in a scathing statement demanded both the SFA and Police Scotland take swift action against those responsible.

It read: “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 well-being 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.”

The statement went on to acknowledge that a “tiny majority of Rangers fans also encroached on the pitch but only after having been faced with prolonged and severe provocation”.

The club said it was “preposterous to suggest Rangers fans were somehow to blame, as some commentators appear anxious to do”, adding that the “thuggish behaviour must be investigated.”