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Police defend handling of Old Firm after 'missiles thrown between fans'

Eight people were arrested following the clash, which ended in a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park.

Police defend handling of Old Firm after ‘missiles thrown between fans’ SNS Group
Police Scotland said its plans had been 'proportionate'.

Police Scotland has defended its handling of Sunday’s Old Firm derby after missiles were reportedly thrown between fans.

Eight people were arrested following the clash at Celtic Park, which ended in a 1-1 draw, with both Rangers and Celtic claiming fans were targeted with bottles and other missiles.

Police Scotland said its plans had been “proportionate”.

The comments come after Rangers criticised police response claiming their supporters had been left “unprotected” and that elderly and disabled fans had been injured by bottles.

Celtic said its supporters and stewards were also hit by debris, including seats ripped from the stands.

Following the incident chief superintendent Stevie Dolan said: “We are aware of missiles being thrown between groups of supporters within the stadium, one of which struck a police officer who thankfully was not seriously injured.

“Any reports we receive from members of the public relating to match-related incidents will be investigated.

“Further inquiries into disorder on Fielden Street before the match are being carried and we will continue to work in partnership with football clubs to ensure that such events take place safely.”

Officers said a total of eight people were arrested for various offences including disorder, pyrotechnics and religiously aggravated offences.

In a statement after the match, Rangers said it was “disappointed” with the police response.

“Our support was left unprotected as they were attacked by bottles and other missiles,” it said.

“Reports so far include injuries to elderly and disabled supporters. Furthermore, we are collating evidence of possible hate crimes which will be reported to Police Scotland as a matter of urgency.

“We intend to raise our concerns with Police Scotland and Celtic during the debrief.”

Celtic said it was still “working through the recent events at Ibrox”.

During a match last month, a Celtic physiotherapist was hit on the head by a glass bottle and glass had to be removed from the Celtic penalty area.

“It is extremely regrettable that again our supporters have been targeted with missiles, including bottles and seating, ripped from our seating deck, resulting in injury to fans and stewards,” said Celtic.

“We will be liaising with all relevant parties in order that a wide range of issues are fully addressed in the appropriate manner.”