Former Scotland international Andy Walker has labelled the behaviour of Hearts and Hibernian fans during the Edinburgh Derby as ‘disgusting.’
Ugly scenes mared the 0-0 draw with Hibs manager Neil Lennon hit by a coin thrown from the crowd and Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal was punched in the face as he went to collect the ball to take a goal kick.
Walker, who now works as a pundit covering Scottish Football, has called on any fans involved in these shocking events to be handed lifetime bans and warned that the verbal abuse in stadiums each week needs to be eradicated.
“It is a huge concern,’’ Walker told Sky Sports News.
“It is not so long ago we saw something similar at the Livingston-Rangers game, where a linesman was struck on the back of the head.
“I think any manager, any coach, any player, any official, is entitled to go to their place of work and feel safe, and that is not happening.
“I think the behaviour in general from supporters, it is disgusting.
“The verbal abuse, never mind what you saw last night, on a weekly basis, I think we let it wash over us and we do nothing about it.
“But, when you see a goalkeeper being assaulted, when you see a manager like Neil Lennon having something thrown at them, that could easily have blinded him.
“His partner and his son were at that game last night — how do they feel? This is really important and we need to do something about it.
“We should look at giving them [the fans involved] lifetime bans from football.”