Hearts v Hibs: Assistant referees ‘attacked at Edinburgh derby’ says SFA chief

Ian Maxwell, inset, has condemned the attacks on assistant referees Frank Connor (far left) and David McGeachie (far right). Pictures: SNS Group
Ian Maxwell, inset, has condemned the attacks on assistant referees Frank Connor (far left) and David McGeachie (far right). Pictures: SNS Group
0
Have your say

The assistant referees at last night’s tempestuous Edinburgh derby were both hit by missiles, the chief executive of the Scottish FA has confirmed.

Ian Maxwell confirmed that Frank Connor and David McGeachie had objects thrown at them during the Ladbrokes Premiership clash.

• READ MORE - Hearts keeper Zdenek Zlamal blasts ‘losers’ who ‘punched me in the face’

Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal appeared to be struck by a Hibs fan as he went to retrieve the ball, and later claimed he was “punched in the face” by a supporter, while Neil Lennon was hit with a coin thrown from the main stand after he celebrated a late goal for Hearts being ruled out for offside.

• READ MORE - Fan arrested after ‘assault on assistant referee’ at Edinburgh derby

On more than one occasion, fans managed to get onto the pitch. There were five arrests at the game, while police have confirmed they are probing the incidents involving Lennon and Zlamal.

Maxwell condemned the “actions of a minority of supporters”, warning that they had “crossed the line in what anyone would consider to be acceptable conduct”.

He added: “In addition to the well-documented incidents that saw Neil Lennon and Zdenek Zlamal on the receiving end of cowardly attacks from the stands, I am sorry to confirm that two of our match officials were also struck by objects.

• READ MORE - Hearts boss Craig Levein calls on ‘abhorrent’ fans to be banned from football

“Knowing the clubs involved as I do, I know no stone will be left unturned - in conjunction with the relative authorities - to identify the individuals responsible and ensure the relevant steps are taken to leave them in no doubt that such actions will not be tolerated by Scottish football.

“Beyond that, we cannot accept that two assistant referees simply carrying out their duties are put in that position and I would like to commend their commitment and professionalism in seeing the game through to its conclusion.

• READ MORE - Hearts and Hibs issue joint statement condemning Edinburgh derby events

“I’m sure every supporter with Scottish football at heart will be similarly sickened by the actions of a few that risk tarnishing the reputations of so many.

“We all have a responsibility to drive these sort of actions out of the game that we love.”