Motherwell are working to identify a fan who threw a bottle at an assistant referee during their match against Sligo Rovers and expect to be punished over the incident.
The Premiership side were playing their first competitive match of the season on Thursday, facing Sligo Rovers in a Europa Conference League qualifier.
While the team was losing 1-0 to their Irish opposition, a plastic bottle was thrown from the stand in the direction of one of the linesmen.
In a message to supporters published on the Motherwell website, the club thanked supporters for getting behind the team, but highlighted the incident and said that it was not the first time objects had been thrown from fans.
The statement read: “We were also very disappointed at an incident which took place late in the game where a plastic bottle was thrown towards the assistant referee from the north end of the John Hunter Stand.
“Over the last few seasons there have been a couple of occasions where objects have been thrown onto the field of play at Fir Park. Our policy has always been to deal with individuals quietly and efficiently, and we have handed out indefinite bans to those who we have been able to identify.
“To put it into some context, we are talking about a very small number of flash points over a few seasons, and the overwhelming majority of ‘Well fans who follow the team are passionate, noisy and colourful, but do not overstep the mark by endangering players, officials or staff.
“The incident last night is now being investigated by UEFA and the likelihood is the club will be punished. We ourselves will work hard to identify the person responsible and will take firm action. It goes without saying, but throwing any objects onto the pitch is unacceptable at Fir Park or any other football stadium.”
The club also apologised for problems with tickets at the game, saying they are aware of what caused difficulties and are working on a solution.
“We acknowledge and accept there were several issues relating to ticketing/seating in different parts of the ground, but particularly in the Phil O’Donnell stand,” the statement continued. “An internal review is now underway to try and identify why this has happened and what lessons can be learned, both in terms of ticketing and stewarding, at future matches.
“We have already identified a number of areas where we must and will improve. We accept our responsibility for what happened and sincerely apologise to anyone who was inconvenienced or caught up in any difficulty trying to locate the seats they were sold.”
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