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Hamilton play down tunnel fracas with Hearts

Players from both sides clashed in the tunnel after the game
Tempers flared in the tunnel after the game at New Douglas Park

Hamilton secretary Scott Struthers has played down the chaotic scenes at the end of their 2-1 win over Hearts.

Hearts pair Suso Santana and Ian Black, plus club masseur Alan Robson, and Accies' Leon Knight were red-carded after a melee in the tunnel.

Hearts' Michael Stewart and Ismael Bouzid were sent off during the game.

The Scottish Football Association is investigating, but Struthers said: "There was some pushing and shoving. Nothing I haven't seen before."

The trouble in the tunnel at Hamilton began when Knight clashed with Hearts winger Santana.

Other players, including Hearts striker Christian Nade, then became involved before police and club officials intervened to calm down the situation.

It's absolutely mad in there, there are fights breaking out in the tunnel, everybody is involved

BBC Scotland's Charlie Mann

Hearts assistant boss Werner Berger and a number of players were also involved in verbal abuse of the match officials in the tunnel area after the game.

But Struthers told BBC Radio 5 live: "The whole affair has been blown out of all proportion.

"I was present throughout and the referee dealt with the incident, although he took an hour to do so, and I don't expect the matter to go further."

Hearts also suggested in a statement that no further action should be taken, while Strathclyde Police say they are not becoming involved and are leaving it up to the football authorities to investigate.

Hamilton said unused substitute Knight was reported for violent conduct.

Hearts said Santana was also called in by the referee for violent conduct and Black for abusive and offensive language. Eggert Jonsson was also cautioned for dissent.

It is understood that, in addition to Santana and Black, Robson was reported for allegedly using offensive and insulting language.

Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo was jostled during the fracas and said afterwards: "I was never involved in a worse finish than this in all my career.

"Even in the tunnel, I came in and I was pushed left and right."

Hearts will appeal against the red card issued to Stewart as there is a feeling at Tynecastle that the club was harshly treated by referee Somers.

In a statement issued on the club website, Stewart says: "I hope that the Scottish FA will annul the red card I received yesterday.

"I strongly believe that TV evidence shows that I did not commit any act of violent conduct as reported by the referee."

Accies secured maximum points in an ill-tempered encounter, but emotions continued to run high as the players and coaching staff on both sides made their way up the tunnel.

BBC Scotland's Charlie Mann, reporting on the post-match drama, said there were "unbelievable scenes" at the back of the tunnel.

"It's absolutely mad in there, there are fights breaking out in the tunnel, everybody is involved - there are players, there are police in there," said Mann.

"Punches are being thrown everywhere. What on earth is going on? Something very, very serious went wild in there."

Hamilton boss Billy Reid, however, sought to play down the incident.

"I didn't see anything. I was out here, shaking hands with every player as they came off the park," he said.


"I was walking down the tunnel and there was a melee, but that happens so many times.

"I don't have anything to say about that - the most important thing is we took the three points and we deserved it."

Hearts were fined £50,000 in August by the SFA for their poor disciplinary record in the 2008/09 campaign, the fifth consecutive season they have been punished.

Hamilton's win, only their second league victory of the season, left them in 10th position, five points above bottom team Falkirk but level on points with seventh-placed Hearts.

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Position Team P GD PTS
Full Scottish Premier table
1 Celtic 14 16 30
2 Rangers 13 14 28
3 Hibernian 14 12 28
4 Dundee Utd 13 9 26
5 Motherwell 14 1 20
6 Aberdeen 14 -3 18
7 Hearts 14 -5 13
8 St Johnstone 14 -6 13
9 St Mirren 14 -6 13
10 Hamilton 14 -10 13
11 Kilmarnock 14 -9 12
12 Falkirk 14 -13 8

see also
Hearts facing indiscipline fine
07 Dec 09 |  Hearts
Hamilton Accies 2-1 Hearts
06 Dec 09 |  Scottish Premier
Hearts indiscipline triggers fine
03 Feb 09 |  Hearts


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