Motherwell have confirmed they have banned a supporter responsible for hurling an object at Rangers captain James Tavernier during Sunday’s Fir Park clash.
Football’s season of shame was once again dragged into the gutter when referee Nick Walsh was forced to temporarily halt play during Gers’ 3-0 win near the end of the first half after both a cigarette lighter and a pie were aimed at the Ibrox skipper.
Tavernier dodged both but Walsh was filmed handing over the lighter to police before requesting officers and stewards surround a section housing Well’s ultras group in the East Stand.
Now club chiefs say they have been able to identify one of the culprits after studying CCTV footage and have reacted by issuing an “indefinite” ban.
The Steelmen say they are also continuing to investigate a second individual who they believe threw the other object and plan to issue another suspension order “as soon as possible”.
Motherwell chairman Jim McMahon said: “We condemn the irresponsible actions of two of our fans, whose moment of recklessness has cast an unfortunate shadow over our whole support.
“It gives us absolutely no pleasure or satisfaction to ban anyone from Fir Park.
“As a fan-owned and fan-run club, we have tried to campaign for the rights of supporters. We have been vocal in our opposition to any suggestion or notion of strict liability.
“However, with that comes a responsibility to act if any of our own step out of line, particularly if we have such clear and obvious evidence.
“I am sure our supporters understand that we are left with no other option but to take a hard-line approach with not only these two individuals, but anyone else who steps out of line.”
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard reacted with frustration after the match as he was again forced to condemn those dragging the Scottish game through the mud.
The Fir Park incident came just 24 hours after Hearts’ Edinburgh derby clash with Hibernian was marred by unsavoury scenes.
A coconut and smoke bombs were thrown onto the Tynecastle pitch while Hibs substitute Marvin Bartley was subjected to a sickening racist rant by a Jambos fan.
“It’s a sad thing to see in this league but there’s a lot of it going on and there’s a lot of other sad stuff that’s going on in world football,” said Gerrard.
“It seems like we’re trying to send messages out every time we speak to the media, which is a shame.
“It’s dangerous for the players when there are objects thrown on to the pitch, whether it be a lighter or whatever it may be. It needs to stop.”
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