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HIBS CHIEF THREATENS STAND CLOSURE

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HIBS chief executive Leeann Dempster has refused to rule out closing sections of Easter Road after another shameful incident during the 1-1 draw with Rangers last night.

For the second time in six days, the misconduct of the home fans has been put in the spotlight following the bottle-throwing incident with Celtic’s Scott Sinclair a week ago.

On this occasion, a moron managed to get onto the pitch to confront the Ibrox team’s skipper James Tavernier near the end of the first-half as he went to take a throw-in.

The capital side provided an extra 50 stewards in a bid to prevent a repeat of last week’s controversy which blew up as the holders won 2-0 in the Scottish Cup quarter-final.

Sinclair also had a coin thrown at him, both unsavoury incidents occurring as he prepared to take a corner-kick at the same corner filled with home supporters – the same stand where the yob emerged to kick the ball away and then have words with Tavernier.

The pitch invader was quickly led away after squaring up to the Englishman.

Police Scotland have confirmed a 21-year-old man is now in custody.

CONFRONTATION…yob is grabbed by a Hibs security guard as he comes face to face with James Tavernier.

OFF…the pitch invader is led away by police as Tavernier discusses the incident with ref Steven McLean.

Asked if closing sections of the ground from which trouble emerges was one option to ensure it does not happen again, Dempster, speaking to BT Sport, answered: “I don’t think anything is off the table, to be honest.

“Instead of talking about a good game of football we are talking about an idiot – again. So nothing can be off the table.”

The Easter Road chief headed straight for the visitors’ dressing room after the match to offer an apology to Tavernier.

She admitted she was “embarrassed” by the latest episode that has dragged both Hibs and Scottish football back into the gutter.

Dempster added: “Given everything we have talked about and what has been said and written in the past six days I find it astonishing I have to sit here this evening and talk about another incident.

“The person you saw is in custody, where he should be as far as I’m concerned, and we’ll find out more about it, but he won’t come to another football match at Easter Road. Ever. That is within our gift to deliver.

“There is security there and there are briefings and it is unfair perhaps on us and other clubs when idiots like this who are determined manage to get through and do what they do.

“Clubs work really hard to try and stop this type of behaviour and it is astonishing it has happened for the second time in a week given what happened last Saturday.

“I had to write to Celtic and Scott Sinclair to apologise and I’ve had to apologise to James downstairs. I apologised on behalf of the club, I told him the individual was in custody.

“I said to him we were embarrassed by it and James was gracious and took our apology.”

Hibs grabbed a point against Steven Gerrard’s side after a spirited second-half fightback in Edinburgh.

The Ibrox men led at half-time

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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