Monday, May 3, 1999 Published at 18:46 GMT 19:46 UK
Old Firm violence inquiry begins
Referee Hugh Dallas needed medical attention
The Scottish Football Association has launched an urgent inquiry into the violence at Sunday's Old Firm premier league title decider in Glasgow.
Referee Hugh Dallas needed stitches in a head wound after he was hit by an object thrown from the terraces. In other incidents, a steward was carried away on a stretcher and a Celtic fan was hurt when he fell from the upper tier of a stand.
Neil McCann, who scored two of Rangers goals during the game, admitted that he had been scared. "It was quite frightening," said the 24-year-old Scotland winger. "After all it's just two sets of players, playing a game."
After the victory Rangers players were pelted with missiles, although they had earlier been seen mimicking the huddle used by the Celtic team as part of their match preparations.
Strathclyde Police said windows in Mr Dallas's home in Lanarkshire were smashed after the game.
Scottish Sports Minister Sam Galbraith said: "I will be asking both the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football Association for a full report on events and I expect a rapid response."
SFA spokesman Andy Mitchell said the association's security adviser Willie McDougall would report as a matter of urgency.
The two sides meet again on Sunday 30 May in the Scottish Cup final with Mr Dallas taking charge again.
"That planning process will continue, obviously taking into account any lessons that can be learned from Sunday night's events. The cup final is a showpiece event and every effort will be made to ensure it stays that way."
Players' conduct examined
The Scottish Premier League said it would also be launching an investigation and will meet the Association of Chief Police Officers later this week.
"In addition, we will be examining the conduct of players both during and after the match," a spokesman said.
"Consideration will also be given to the possibility of moving the last Old Firm game of the season to earlier in the year to minimise the chances of the tension and emotion which spilled over last night being repeated."
Four Celtic fans who ran onto the pitch have been banned for life from Parkhead.
As part of their own inquiry, Celtic will be studying film from closed-circuit television cameras in an attempt to identify troublemakers.
Rangers Vice-Chairman Donald Findlay said: "We condemn violence in any form.
Mr Findlay said the timing of evening football matches should be reconsidered because they allowed too much drinking time before kick-offs.
Mark Dingwall, who edits the Rangers fanzine Follow, Follow, said for Celtic, "the chickens are coming home to roost".
"I don't think Celtic in their publications whether it's the programme, the Celtic View, can continuously pressurise referees and claim there's a conspiracy then be surprised that some of their fans get a wee bit carried away."
TV kick-off controversy
One of the main points sure to be studied by any inquiry is the late kick-off demanded by television station Sky.
On Sunday, many fans had been drinking for a large part of the day before going to Parkhead for the 1805 start.
Scottish police had previously warned about drunkenness in grounds, and supporters have also complained about the lack of public transport.
Kick-offs on the final day of the season, Sunday 23 May, have already been moved to 1230 BST in answer to those warnings.