Scottish Cup final: Rangers 'shocked' at SFA complaint notice

Police
Police formed an armed guard after supporters invaded the pitch

Rangers say they are "shocked" at the charge issued to them by the Scottish FA compliance officer in relation to the Scottish Cup final.

A pitch invasion took place after Hibernian beat Rangers 3-2 on 21 May.

Rangers said the priorities are wrong.

"Instead of player and supporter safety, they have placed all their emphasis and importance on the monetary value of a set of goalposts, pieces of turf and advertising boards," said Rangers in a statement.

The clubs are alleged to have breached disciplinary rule 311, which states that "damage was sustained to Hampden... as a consequence of misbehaviour by supporters".

The compliance officer looked at the cup final incidents after the publication of Sheriff Principal Edward Bowen's independent report into the day's events.

The SFA requested the report following the pitch invasion that followed after the match. That report, published earlier this month, concluded that the Scottish government should consider making it a criminal offence to run on to a football pitch.

Fans entered the pitch at Hampden Park after Hibs won their first Scottish Cup in 114 years.

Thousands of Hibs fans jumped the barriers at the final whistle and a number of Rangers fans also came on to the pitch.

The pitch invasion delayed the presentation of the trophy and there was no lap of honour by Hibs players.

Rangers players were not able to pick up their cup final medals.

There has since been 64 arrests in connection to the cup final disorder.

Alleged rule breach in relation to Rangers
In that at the above match you failed to adhere to the Cup Competition Rules, specifically Rule 28 of the Rules of The Scottish Cup. That at the above match damage was sustained to Hampden Stadium, being the stadium where the Scottish Cup Final was played, as a consequence of misbehaviour by supporters of your Club. That the misbehaviour by your supporters occurred at the conclusion of the above match whereby, following on from a pitch incursion by supporters of Hibernian FC, a number of your supporters also carried out an incursion onto the pitch. That thereafter supporters of your Club who had engaged in the pitch incursion remained upon the pitch until cleared by Police Scotland and Stewards. That in the course of this misbehaviour by your supporters damage was sustained to the stadium, as follows: (i) To parts of the LED advertising system situated at the perimeter of the pitch, in the vicinity of the North Stand, and /or the West Stand; and/or (ii) To advertising hoardings situated at the perimeter of the pitch, in the vicinity of the West Stand.

"It is alarming that the governance of Scottish football is so lacking that it is impossible for the Scottish FA to guarantee the safety of footballers at the country's showpiece event," said Rangers.

"The SFA is either unwilling or is powerless when it comes to taking the appropriate punitive action against the offenders.

"A number of Rangers players were assaulted by Hibernian supporters in broad daylight on the Hampden surface and a repeat of this must be avoided at all costs. That should have been the priority of the SFA.

"Yet the governing body insists it is not within its remit to issue any charges, let alone punishments, for such violent and dangerous misconduct.

"Rangers directors will take time to consider an appropriate and more comprehensive response to redress our grievances, but for the moment the board fully endorses the incredulity and anger of all Rangers supporters."

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