Hearts promise to dish out lifetime bans for ‘unacceptable behaviour’

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Hearts released a statement on Friday afternoon warning supporters they could face lifetime bans for unacceptable conduct within Tynecastle Park.

READ MORE - Hearts take action to tackle use of pyrotechnic devices at Tynecastle

Hearts fans during last month's Edinburgh derby clash with Hibs. Picture: SNS

Hearts fans during last month's Edinburgh derby clash with Hibs. Picture: SNS

Owner Ann Budge has responded strongly after shameful off-field incidents plagued last month’s Edinburgh derby draw with rivals Hibs.

Hibs boss Neil Lennon was struck with a coin thrown from the main stand, while Hearts keeper Zdenek Zlamal was punched by a fan in the away end. Flares were thrown from members of the crowd in both ends.

In addition to closing off section N to matchday tickets, Hearts have warned that anyone caught bringing pyrotechnics into the ground will receive a lifetime ban.

In the statement, Budge also stated that either an indefinite or lifetime ban would be considered for any supporter “singing or chanting any song or flying any flag which is recognised as being sectarian, racist or political in its intent”.

The statement read: “Other than issuing a joint statement with Leeann Dempster, CEO of Hibernian FC, condemning the incidents that occurred at the recent derby match, I have until now largely kept my counsel. I did so because Police Scotland were following up on a number of reported acts of violence and also because of the media frenzy that ensued.

“Anyone found guilty by law, identified by CCTV or unequivocally identified by any other means or person of any of the following acts, will receive an indefinite ban from Tynecastle Park. The length of bans will be commensurate with the seriousness of the offence and could mean a lifetime ban....

• In any way, causing damage to the physical infrastructure of the stadium. Similarly, it should be noted that any Hearts fan convicted of causing physical damage to any other football stadium, will also be banned from Tynecastle Park (and from purchasing tickets for away fixtures) for bringing the good name of Hearts and of Scottish Football into disrepute

• Throwing any object within the confines of the stadium, which causes, or could cause, injury to any individual, whether or not specifically directed at any individual

• Throwing any object onto the pitch or elsewhere within the confines of the stadium which causes, or could cause, damage to the pitch or any part of the stadium infrastructure

• Singing or chanting of any song or flying of any flag which is recognised as being sectarian, racist or political in its intent.

“The use of pyrotechnic devices at the derby was significant. A total of 16 such devices were thrown, by both sets of fans, either onto the pitch, the track or in the direction of rival fans. We cannot emphasise strongly enough that these devices can cause serious injury to individuals and serious damage to property.

“They operate at temperatures of between 600 and 2000 degrees centigrade. They can cause burn damage to the skin, as well as damage to property from smoke dyes and high temperatures, and, of course, from secondary fires. In addition, the inhalation of particles generated by these devices, whilst a less visible threat, are capable of triggering attacks from various acute and chronic illnesses, such as asthma and heart conditions.

“Quite simply, these are life endangering objects. As such, any supporter involved in attempting to bring them into the Stadium or identified as discharging them in the Stadium, will receive a lifetime ban.”