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Bottle attack on Rangers fan (11) going to Old Firm match is dubbed ‘abhorrent'

Rangers' Kenny Miller and Celtic's Tom Rogic battle for the ball during Sunday's match at Hampden Park, Glasgow. Picture by Jane Barlow, Press Association
Paul Ward, Press Association

A BOTTLE attack on an 11-year-old boy walking to the latest Old Firm match has been described as "abhorrent".

The Rangers fan reportedly needed seven stitches to a cut on his head after a bottle was flung across the road as he walked to Hampden with family for the Scottish League Cup semi-final.

Police said officers and genuine supporters "have had enough of this type of behaviour", and vowed to find those responsible.

The vast majority of the 50,000-capacity crowd were praised for their behaviour but there were 18 arrests around the Glasgow ground for "minor public disorder".

A 27-year-old man was arrested and detained in connection with an alleged sectarian breach of the peace outside the ground, while a 17-year-old was arrested and detained for allegedly having a pyrotechnic device.

A further 16 men, aged between 17 and 68, were arrested for minor public order offences.

Video posted on social media showed a group of fans fighting near Queen's Park before the match, which Celtic won 1-0.

Chief Superintendent Brian McInulty said: "Whilst the majority of genuine football fans behaved well yesterday, from a crowd of 50,697, there were 18 arrests for minor public disorder including having had too much to drink.

"However, the incident involving the assault of the 11-year-old boy whilst he was walking to the game is completely unacceptable and understandably has shocked the communities of Glasgow.

"Let's be clear - this was an attack on a young boy who could possibly be left with a scar. This is abhorrent, and the person or persons responsible need to be caught.

"A football game is not an excuse for violence, ever. My detective officers are continuing inquiries into the incident, and I would re-iterate their appeals for information.

"Any genuine football fan would not take part in such mindless violence, particularly throwing a bottle into a crowd with the intention to deliberately hurt someone, that person ultimately being a child.

"As I had mentioned before, genuine football fans have had enough of this type of behaviour. We've had enough of this type of behaviour and it won't be tolerated.

"I'd like to thank the majority of 50,697 football fans who behaved well and enjoyed the game."

Officers do not think the boy was deliberately targeted but hope other supporters may have seen who threw the bottle.

Detective Inspector Colin Hailstones said: "At the time, the area was obviously very busy and there are people who will know who is responsible for this crime, and I would appeal to them to come forward to police with their information.

"This attack is totally unacceptable and although we don't believe that the young boy was specifically targeted, the bottle was deliberately thrown at the crowd of supporters who were simply making their way to the match to enjoy the game.

"Anyone with information that will assist our ongoing investigation should contact Cathcart police office through 101. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained."

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