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Rangers' Northern Ireland star Dean Shiels tight-lipped over claim he was hit during fan invasion at Scottish Cup final

Emotions boil over after Hibernian win cup final Hampden Park

By Nevin Farrell

Northern Ireland international Dean Shiels was tight-lipped last night over reportedly being attacked by Hibernian fans who invaded the pitch after a dramatic last-gasp 3-2 win over his Rangers team in the Scottish Cup final.

Following the full-time whistle on Saturday hundreds of Hibs fans came over the barriers to celebrate the club's first Scottish Cup since 1902.

Some Rangers fans then went onto the pitch in response and there were clashes between rival supporters.

Rangers players were engulfed by the tide of Hibs fans and the Glasgow club said "players and staff were assaulted".

One report said Shiels (31) and at least three team-mates were attacked as they tried to make their way to the dressing room.

It was claimed that Shiels - a former Hibernian player - was goaded and punched by fans of the Edinburgh club.

When contacted last night by the Belfast Telegraph Shiels, whose father Kenny is manager of Derry City and whose brother-in-law Oran Kearney is in charge at Coleraine, said he was not making any comment.

Scottish police are gathering footage from Saturday with a view to prosecuting the culprits.

Chief Superintendent Kenny MacDonald said: "An investigation team has now been established at Helen Street Police Office.

"So far there have been 11 arrests.

"Officers are in the process of collecting CCTV footage and collating the information as they try to identify those responsible for the disorder and violence on the pitch.

"As our investigation progresses I have no doubt that additional arrests will be made and would appeal to anyone with information that may assist police enquiries to come forward." In a statement Rangers said the club was "shocked at the disgraceful behaviour of Hibs fans at full-time".

"Rangers players and staff were assaulted by these fans who invaded the pitch and in the interests of their safety could not return to the pitch for the medal presentation," said the Ibrox club.

"There can be no place for the violent behaviour witnessed at the end of the final and Rangers fully expect the Scottish Football Association and Police Scotland to launch an investigation to find out where security measures failed.

"The club would like to commend Rangers fans for restraint under severe provocation."

A Hibernian statement said: "Hibernian FC this evening confirmed that it will co-operate fully into any inquiry into the pitch invasion which followed the club's historic Scottish Cup win at Hampden Park.

"The club reiterates its regret at the events which unfolded immediately following the final whistle.

"Hibernian always seeks to maintain high standards, and we will work with the authorities to identify any supporter who may have taken part in any form of unacceptable behaviour.

"Hibernian will work with Police Scotland, Hampden Park stadium management, the Scottish FA, Rangers FC and any other relevant parties to bring those responsible to book."

Belfast Telegraph


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