THE life bans which Hibs have handed to some of its fans involved in the Hampden pitch invasion will be widely and warmly welcomed.
The vast majority of the thousands of supporters who flooded on to the pitch after the final whistle were not involved in any violence or aggression, or anything worse than being in a place where they were not supposed to be. Most spent their time hugging each other and trying to congratulate their heroes.
But the behaviour of some was deplorable. Some were certainly aggressive and confrontational to opposition players and fans, and possibly worse. The truth of the most serious allegations made against supporters, including assault, have yet to be proved either way. In the fullness of time, the high-profile police and SFA investigations should shed light on exactly what happened.
But Hibs are entirely right to take strong action in the meantime. The extensive TV and video footage means that there is plenty of evidence already available to identify many of those involved.
There is no place in sport for fans who want to confront and intimidate players. Anyone caught doing so should be banned.
Both clubs have a duty to tackle head-on any of their supporters found to have behave in this or other unacceptable ways. It has to be hoped that Rangers will prove as robust in their response as Hibs.
In the days and weeks leading up to the Scottish Cup final, there were pitch invasions by jubilant fan at some high-profile games in England, including promotion play-offs, which passed off peacefully. Supporters celebrated in front of rival fans without the combustible results seen at Hampden.
Sadly there is something in Scottish football which means that the same thing cannot happen in many fixtures north of the Border without trouble ensuing. That is why these troublemakers must be weeded out whenever they show their faces.