The Scottish football players’ association has condemned the actions of fans during Wednesday night’s Edinburgh derby clash at Tynecastle.
Hibs boss Neil Lennon was struck by a coin in front of the dugouts, while Hearts keeper Zdenek Zlamal was attacked by supporters in the away end during the 0-0 draw.
For a weary PFA Scotland this is another example of the disturbing behaviour towards their members as footballers and coaches are routinely targeted for abuse during matches.
PFA chief executive Fraser Wishart said in a statement: “It is like Groundhog Day as it seems we are continually having to discuss and address issues like this happening at football grounds across the country.
“After last night’s incidents at Tynecastle, we stress again that any form of verbal abuse, violence or the throwing of objects at players and managers needs to be taken seriously and we trust that the authorities will take the appropriate action to ensure that this dangerous practice is stopped.
“The football pitch is a player’s place of work and it is not unreasonable for a player, like any other employee, to be able to work with the knowledge that their workplace is indeed a safe environment, free from violence and discrimination and that their health and safety is not at risk.
“PFA Scotland conducted a survey of our members in 2016 as part of a worldwide survey for the World Players Union FIFPro. Worryingly, 35 per cent of those players surveyed said they had been threatened by fans (34 per cent on a match day). Any form of abuse – verbal or physical – is wholly unacceptable and it is of paramount importance that something is done before someone is seriously hurt or maimed.”