Hibs urge Hearts to take action after Easter Road player 'struck by fans' during game

Hibs chiefs have urged their Hearts counterparts to take action after Easter Road defender Marijan Čabraja was struck by a home supporter during Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Tynecastle Park.
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The flashpoint was one of a number of incidents to take place during the fixture and immediately afterwards, with players and officials from both sides brawling after the final whistle. Hibs manager Lee Johnson – who was cautioned during the game for entering the Hearts technical area – and unused substitute Rocky Bushiri were both sent off after the match by referee Don Robertson, while Hearts goalkeeping coach Paul Gallacher, and back-up ‘goalkeeper Ross Stewart, also an unused sub, were shown red cards as well.

The game was approaching its conclusion when Croatian full-back Čabraja attempted to retrieve the ball for a throw-in. Video footage showed home supporters keeping hold of the ball, with one appearing to strike out twice and catching the 26-year-old on the head.

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In a statement, the Hibs hierarchy have called out the behaviour and have pushed for Hearts chiefs to take action, pointing out that more needs to be done to ensure players’ safety on the pitch.

A general view of Tynecastle ParkA general view of Tynecastle Park
A general view of Tynecastle Park

The statement reads: “During our 1-1 draw in the cinch Premiership at Tynecastle there were a number of incidents, but undoubtedly the most worrying relates to player safety and spectator involvement. During the second half when Marijan Čabraja went to retrieve a ball to take a throw in front of the Wheatfield Stand, he was confronted by several supporters before he was struck by a spectator.

“We have shared images, which are clear and conclusive, with senior officials at Hearts and have urged the club to investigate this immediately. Serious actions must be taken as player safety on the pitch is paramount and this incident proves that more needs to be done to protect players.

“This type of behaviour by a supporter of any club is abhorrent. We are awaiting a response from Hearts regarding this incident, so that the individual can be detected and the severest of sanctions taken against him.”

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The match ended in a 1-1 draw with Kevin Nisbet’s free kick goal cancelling out Yutaro Oda’s opener for Hearts. The result ensured Hearts finished the season in fourth place, two points ahead of their Capital rivals.