Scottish FA to investigate the Edinburgh derby brawl with Hearts and Hibs set for charges
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The Scottish Football Association are to investigate the unseemly brawl following Saturday’s Edinburgh derby, with both Hearts and Hibs likely to face misconduct charges. Players and staff from both clubs became embroiled in a mass confrontation after the 1-1 draw at Tynecastle Park before referee Don Robertson issued four post-match red cards.
Hibs manager Lee Johnson and substitute Rocky Bushiri were sent off along with Hearts’ substitute goalkeeper Ross Stewart and goalkeeping coach Paul Gallacher. They were all involved in the melee as punches were thrown and tempers lost. The SFA compliance officer Martin Black will study footage of the incidents and decide what action to take.
The Tynecastle defender Alex Cochrane was dismissed during a volatile match in which Hibs substitute Marijan Cabaraja was struck by a Hearts supporter while retrieving the ball and Stewart threw a hot-water bottle towards Johnson. The chaotic scenes at the end came after 10-man Hearts secured a point to finish fourth in the Premiership and secure European football, while Hibs remained two points behind in fifth.
Both clubs stand accused of failing to control their employees and of breaching SFA disciplinary regulations. Rule 204 relating to match discipline of players, team staff and officials, states: “All clubs and recognised football bodies shall procure that its officials, team staff, employees and players conduct themselves in an orderly fashion at all times during and/or after a match.
“In particular, clubs and recognised football bodies are responsible for ensuring that its officials, team staff, employees and players refrain from any one or a combination of the following: (a) becoming involved in a confrontation; (b) conduct that is likely to lead to or to exacerbate or prolong a hostile or argumentative situation with players and/or team staff from the opposing team and/or match officials; (c) conduct that may otherwise incite disorder.”
The post-match rumpus started at full-time when Johnson pushed his fist into the chest of interim Hearts manager Steven Naismith after shaking hands. Players and staff from both sides then lost control as the final weekend of the Premiership season witnessed some tempestuous scenes. Hibs later called on their city rivals to take action against the supporter who struck Cabraja.
In the game itself, Hearts defended manfully after losing Cochrane. Yutaro Oda’s first goal in maroon opened the scoring inside nine minutes, but the Englishman’s foul on Chris Cadden brought a free-kick from which Kevin Nisbet planted the equaliser beyond the home goalkeeper Zander Clark. It was Clark who later denied Hibs with some important saves, although the visitors toiled to create clear chances even with a numerical advantage.
“It’s good to make saves,” said the keeper. “I'm personally disappointed to concede the free-kick. We knew Hibs would throw everything at us but we were solid. When they breached that it was up to me to help out. I’m glad I could make a couple of decent stops to get us the point we needed.
“I was shaking hands with folk at the end and I saw it kicking off. I just tried to go and split it up and be the peacemaker. The derby is a massive game in general never mind what was at stake. Tempers got heated but we had to calm ourselves down and thank supporters for their backing.”