The Edinburgh Derby turned into a game that has shamed Scottish Football after the match between Hearts and Hibs was marred by scenes of hooliganism. Hearts beat rivals Hibs 2-0 at Easter Road thanks to goals from David Templeton and Stephen Elliot, but the game was overshadowed by fans on both sides throwing flares onto the pitch and then with minutes to go, Hibs fans threw coins and bottles towards Hearts players primarily Rudi Skacel who had just been on the receiving end of a particularly horrendous tackle from Hibs captain Derek Riordan.
The SFA and the SPL are now set to hammer both clubs for the behaviour of both sets of fans.
Seconds after the Tynecastle side opened the scoring, flares were launched from the Hearts end and Tynecastle manager Jim Jefferies later admitted he feared for the safety of his players. Hearts striker Kevin Kyle then appeared to be struck with a coin and was booked for throwing the ball at an advertising board in frustration.
Fans in the East Stand ripped up seats causing thousands of pounds worth of damage, while referee Willie Collum was seen to gather up an assortment of coins and lighters that had been thrown on to the pitch.
Hibs skipper Derek Riordan was sent off for a horrendous tackle on Rudi Skacel, but the Lithuanian was then pelted by coins and bottles from Hibs fans in the South Stand as he received treatment at the side of the pitch.
Both clubs will have to wait for any punishments, when the big wigs at Hampden meet to read George Douglas’ match observer’s report. His assessment of the scenes that marred the game is sure to contain several damning statements concerning the behaviour of fans of both clubs.
Hearts boss Jefferies said, “The derby is a great, passionate occasion and it shouldn’t be spoiled by idiots throwing things. You can expect some banter and fans exchanging songs because that’s part and parcel of these games but not the kind of incidents we saw today.”
Jefferies then commented on Kyle, “He was in his element in this game as it was a competitive derby. I didn’t see the incident with him at the boards but maybe he was provoked and if so he needs to rise above that.”
He continued, “It was getting a little bit frantic and the two sets of fans were having a go at each other. The game was petering out as we had the points in the bag and it always looked more like being 3-0 than 2-1. Hibs were only really dangerous at the start of the second half.”
Jefferies revealed that Marius Zaliukas, the Hearts captain, was fortunate to avoid one of the flares exploding in front of him as he tried to kick it off the pitch.
“We were tipped off by the police before the game that there might be smoke canisters and we were told not to kick them because they might explode,” he continued. “So when Marius went towards it we were telling him not to kick it. He kicked it once but he got away with it.”