Scottish Football Association appoints cup final disorder commission

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Media captionMounted police took to the Hampden pitch following the invasion by fans

An independent investigation will be held into disorder at the Scottish Cup final, the Scottish Football Association has confirmed.

It said a commission would review operational matters relating to the Rangers V Hibernian game on Saturday.

There were violent clashes at Hampden Park when thousands spilled onto the pitch at the final whistle.

Hibs said they would co-operate with the inquiry, adding they were "sorry" for the pitch invasion by their fans.

Rangers said their players and backroom staff were injured in scuffles following their 3-2 defeat to Hibernian.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Glasgow side criticised the response of the the SFA, Hibernian, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the BBC to the incident.

Stewart Regan, the Scottish FA chief executive, said the commission's findings would be published in full.

He also urged calm while the commission carried out its work.

Mr Regan's statement read: "I would urge all parties involved in the ongoing situation to demonstrate calmness, clarity of thought and responsibility as we proceed towards a satisfactory conclusion."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image copyright Getty Images

Police Scotland said a dedicated incident room had been set up to co-ordinate the criminal investigation and 11 arrests had been made so far.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams said: "Although we've made 11 arrests so far, I fully expect more to be made in the coming days as we sift through evidence from CCTV and other video footage and photographic images.

"Public safety is our number one priority and the pitch incursion was unacceptable and jeopardised that.Our response was immediate, measured, proportionate and professional.

"In a short period of time, we deployed mounted officers, public order and conventional officers to separate the opposing supporters.

"It's important to take time and reflect on Saturday's match and we will now work with G4S, Scottish FA, Hampden Park PLC, both clubs and of course with our staff to review the full circumstances of the game.

"If there's lessons to be learned then we will do that together with other partners so we can ensure that scenes like those witnessed on Saturday don't happen again."

'Unacceptable conduct'

Hibs said it would do "everything in its power to bring to book" supporters involved in allegations of assault - including against Rangers players and staff.

Any supporters involved in criminal or unacceptable behaviour would face the strongest possible sanctions, it added.

Chairman Rod Petrie said: "It is now clear from various sources that supporters being on the pitch at the end of the match led to acts of violence and disorder.

"I condemn and the club condemns all of the violence and unacceptable conduct perpetrated on the pitch and elsewhere and in the margins of the match at Hampden. There is absolutely no place for it in the game of football.

"Hibernian will do all that it can to support the criminal investigations to ensure that those who have transgressed face the consequences of their actions."

Stewart Regan said the independent commission into the disorder would look at "process and protocols" undertaken in the staging of the match.

The football chief added: "I have also instructed the compilation of a comprehensive report from all our internal group functions at Hampden Park to establish a full picture of the events of the weekend.

"The contents of this report will be made available to the commission.

"I am keen that the Scottish FA is proactive in the investigations with the police authorities and the independent commission."

He also confirmed that the organisation's football compliance officer had also begun investigating potential rule breaches "from a football regulatory perspective".

And Mr Regan said that, as the cup final was the subject of a criminal investigation, any information gleaned by the Scottish FA would be shared with Police Scotland.

Timeline of pitch invasion

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Media captionPolice move on to the pitch at Hampden Park to separate Hibernian and Rangers fans

16:51:48 - Final Whistle

16:51:58 - Pitch invasion begins

16:53:25 - Fans smash goalpost

16:54:54 - Rival fans clash

16:55:38 - Police horses on pitch

16:57:00 - Police line established

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