18 Days Remaining

Saturday 2nd
posted by Morning Star in Sport

SCOTTISH players’ union leader Fraser Wishart called for action yesterday to stamp out missile-throwing after Celtic captain Scott Brown claimed he and his teammates are targeted “pretty much every week.”

Motherwell vowed to investigate after Brown reported that coins and other items were thrown onto the Fir Park pitch during Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw.

Wishart, chief executive of PFA Scotland, said: “Scott Brown’s comments regarding the throwing of objects at players need to be taken seriously and we trust that the authorities will take the appropriate action to ensure that this dangerous practice is stopped.

“The football pitch is a player’s place of work and it is not unreasonable for a player, like any other employee, to be able to work with the knowledge that their workplace is indeed a safe environment, free from discrimination and their health and safety is not at risk.”

Wishart referenced a 2016 survey showing that 35 per cent of PFA Scotland members had been threatened by fans.

The former Motherwell and Rangers defender added: “Interestingly, the only contact we received when the results of the survey were produced was from members of Community Police in Glasgow who met with us to discuss the results and to offer assistance should it be required.

“Players’ views on their health and safety must be taken seriously and the recent trend of throwing coins and flares is worrying.

“Players, of course, do not wish to spoil the enjoyment of fans as their singing generates the atmosphere at grounds. There is a fine line, however, between banter and abuse and our members simply ask that supporters think about what they shout at players and the effect that might have on the individual. Of paramount importance is to stop throwing objects at players immediately.

“Scott says he and his colleagues are getting used to it. Our members up and down the country should not have to get used to it and we cannot wait until a player is hurt before addressing this issue.”