|Diouf had something to say to Celtic manager Neil Lennon|
Written by Pete South. Follow Pete on Twitter @Peterwsouth.
The Old Firm game between Rangers and Celtic has been branded “disgraceful” by the Police officers’ union after a series of confrontations on the pitch between both sets of players and coaching staff marred their Scottish Cup replay last night. 34 supporters were also arrested for various offences, including sectarian and racial abuse, as well as breaching the peace at Celtic Park in Glasgow.
Three Rangers players were sent off in Celtic’s 1-0 victory, While Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist and Celtic boss Neil Lennon also clashed after the final whistle. Amongst all the confrontations, almost everyone sees Celtic as favourites for the competition after last night’s fiery encounter.
Steven Whittaker and Madjid Bougherra were sent off during the game for two bookable offences while El Hadji Diouf got his second caution after full-time for an off-the-pitch altercation with some of the Celtic players and coaching staff.
Over 200 people were arrested before the Old Firm game in February, and Police had hoped to reduce the amount of alcohol-fuelled violence ahead of the cup replay last night. Now the union has called for a ban on Old Firm games in Glasgow all together, saying they believe the games cause too much violence, and that the behaviour of both clubs was “nothing short of disgraceful".
The Chairman of the Scottish Police federation, Les Gray, said the following regarding the Old Firm derby:
“What happens on the pitch is replicated throughout the streets, the pubs and the clubs and the houses within Scotland. Something needs to happen, I'm realistic enough to know that they'll probably never stop it but we need to have a serious look at it... It may well be that they'll have to look at playing the game behind closed doors for two or three times just to see how it goes because people may say it's a great advert for football, a great advert for Scottish football. That wasn't much of an advert last night."
Celtic now face Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup, and remain favourites to win the Scottish Premier League this season. Yet what will happen regarding the Old Firm derby? Will this violence be tolerated again? I certainly hope not.