(Reuters) – Rangers captain James Tavernier was confronted by a fan who was subsequently arrested in an ugly incident during a Scottish Premiership match at Hibernian on Friday which finished in a 1-1 draw.
The man tried to kicked the ball away as Tavernier went over to the touchline to take a throw-in before the pair were involved in a scuffle. The fan was led away by police.
Hibernian chief executive Leeann Dempster told the BBC the 21-year-old supporter would be banned from Easter Road for life and that she would apologise personally to Tavernier.
“They’ve embarrassed this club tonight again, it’s completely and utterly unacceptable,” she said.
“What are we going to be talking about tomorrow? 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.”
The incident happened six days after Celtic’s Scott Sinclair was almost hit by a glass bottle thrown from the crowd at Easter Road during the Glasgow club’s Scottish Cup quarter-final win.
“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,” added Dempster.
“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 percent 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.”
Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom said: “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.”
Steven Gerrard’s Rangers trail SPL leaders Celtic by seven points having played a game more than their local rivals. Hibernian are in sixth place 17 points adrift of Rangers.
(Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)