Scottish Premier League

Hearts hand bans to derby day pitch invaders

May 8, 2009

Hearts have handed indefinite bans to two supporters following the pitch invasion that marred Thursday night's Edinburgh derby.

Several fans ran on to the Tynecastle playing surface as Derek Riordan and his Hibernian team-mates celebrated the striker's penalty winner in the visitors' 1-0 Scottish Premier League victory.

Hearts managing director Campbell Ogilvie said: "We have acted quickly with the police to identify two supporters who entered the playing area during the game.

"We have now written to both individuals and they will receive immediate, indefinite bans from Hearts games."

The club launched an inquiry into the trouble in conjunction with Lothian and Borders Police.

Ogilvie added: "On no account will we tolerate any unacceptable conduct and we view last night's incident in a very serious light.

"We have worked extremely hard to develop a stadium that is seen by many supporters as one of the best for atmosphere in the country and we will not allow the reputation of Hearts to be tarnished by individuals who disrespect this club."

Hibs defender Ian Murray told team-mates he had been struck by a coin thrown from the Wheatfield Stand as he celebrated with Riordan.

Police made two arrests during the game, while 15 people were ejected from the stadium. Two men were due to appear in court in the capital this afternoon.

The flashpoint following Riordan's 79th-minute goal was not the only unsavoury incident of the night.

Hibs manager Mixu Paatelainen complained to a police officer about receiving "a mouthful" of abuse from fans behind his dugout.

And midfielder Ross Chisholm later accused Hearts striker Christian Nade of "assaulting" him after the final whistle.

The 21-year-old told the Edinburgh Evening News: "I was a bit surprised, he is an experienced player and you would not expect that sort of thing from him. He grabbed me by the throat.

"I know he has just been beaten in a derby, but that is wrong.

"You cannot do that, you do not do it to anyone in the street so you should not do it here. I did get a fright.

"I was going to celebrate with my team-mates and our fans and one of their players comes over and assaults me."