Falkirk apologise after Dunfermline's Dean Shiels has fake eyeballs thrown at him

Dunfermline Athletic midfielder Dean Shiels and manager Allan Johnston
Dean Shiels and Allan Johnston celebrated a 2-0 win over Falkirk

Falkirk have apologised to Dean Shiels after the Dunfermline Athletic midfielder had fake eyeballs thrown at him during Tuesday's Championship game.

Bairns players Joe McKee and Kevin O'Hara remain suspended after being found guilty of taunting the midfielder in October over the loss of an eye.

Shiels, 32, was abused by Falkirk fans in the Pars' 2-0 victory on Tuesday.

"Falkirk FC apologises unreservedly for the abhorrent behaviour of a small number of individuals," the club said.

"The club wholeheartedly condemns the abuse witnessed towards Dean Shiels in the strongest terms and will be working closely with Dunfermline Athletic FC to identify those responsible.

"Abuse towards anyone with a disability is simply unacceptable and the fact this took place with a sporting context with rivalries at play is no excuse.

"This needs to stop now. We will look to action against anyone identified from today's game and will not allow this disgraceful behaviour to be repeated."

Falkirk could face fresh disciplinary action, with the Scottish Professional Football League responsible for crowd behaviour. The governing body will review the match delegate's report before considering what action to take.

Shiels, who has 14 caps for Northern Ireland, underwent surgery in 2006 after losing sight in one eye in a domestic accident when he was eight years old.

He was sent off for a stoppage-time challenge on McKee in Falkirk's 2-0 Challenge Cup win that sparked the two suspensions.

Striker O'Hara was given an eight-match ban and midfielder McKee was suspended for four by the Scottish Football Association following that game.

Fake eyeballs on the East End Park pitch
Fake eyeballs were thrown on to the East End Park pitch

Dunfermline then had two men sent off during a league draw weeks later - Kallum Higginbotham after a challenge on McKee, who had yet to have his case heard, and Declan McManus for pushing Aaron Muirhead after the defender had fouled Shiels.

There were five bookings but no red cards in the latest local derby and Pars manager Allan Johnston congratulated the former Hibernian, Doncaster Rovers, Kilmarnock, Rangers, Dundalk and Edmonton player and his team-mates.

"You never like to hear stuff like that," he told his club website. "It's poor.

"It's great discipline he showed. The whole team showed that.

"He has had a lot to deal with, but I think the whole club have.

"I think we have dealt with it professionally, but you just have to move on."

Johnston was delighted his side gained revenge following the chants and missiles at East End Park.

"That's why it was important to get the win as well, when stuff like that is going on in the background," he added.

"It's unacceptable in this day and age.

"The most important thing was getting the win, especially against Falkirk when you see the rivalry."

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