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Last Updated: Monday, 11 April, 2005, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
Fans charged after Pope jeering
Hearts and Celtic players observe the silence
The minute's silence before Hearts' game with Celtic was disrupted
Six football supporters have been charged with sectarian hate crime following Sunday's Scottish Cup semi-final between Hearts and Celtic.

A section of fans disrupted a minute's silence in memory of Pope John Paul II at Hampden Park.

Hearts have issued an apology and those charged may face a ban from attending future matches.

Former Hearts chairman Leslie Deans told BBC Sport: "There is no place for bigots of any kind at Tynecastle."

Strathclyde Police said a further six arrests were made for general breach of the peace and four in connection with drink-related offences.

A force spokeswoman said: "A total of 16 arrests were made in and around the ground yesterday, six for sectarian breach of the peace."

The Scottish FA had called for a mark of respect before the weekend's two Scottish Cup semi-finals.

And Hearts chief executive Phil Anderton said: "It is disturbing that some fans failed to see the significance of the occasion.

"There is no need for that sort of behaviour in the game."

The Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League had decided to leave the matter to their clubs' discretion.

But the SFA changed its own earlier decision and called for a minute's silence before both cup ties.

The mark of respect was observed before Dundee United's victory over Hibernian on Saturday with minor instances of dissent.
We will now write to both Celtic and the SFA to apologise
Hearts chief executive Phil Anderton

But referee Stuart Dougal had to cut short the tribute ahead of Celtic's defeat of Hearts.

And Anderton responded quickly to distance the Edinburgh club from what they claim was "a small section" of their support.

Some Hearts fans believe that the SFA backed down under pressure from Celtic, but Anderton said his club would not and could not condone their actions.

"We are trying to generate an atmosphere where families are happy to return to football grounds around the country and the fact that their actions will have been covered live by Sky across the UK and beyond will have done those ambitions no favour at all," he said.

"The club appealed on Friday for all fans travelling to the game to respect the minute of silence and will now write to both Celtic and the Scottish Football Association to apologise on behalf of those who failed to adhere to that request."




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