PFA Scotland have entered the row over objects being thrown at Celtic players at Fir Park on Wednesday evening and in doing so they heap the pressure on Motherwell FC who seemed blinded to the unacceptable actions of their supporters in their match against Celtic.
Bottles, pies, coins and sweets were all thrown at Celtic players as the attacked down that side of the park in the second half. Scott Sinclair, Leigh Griffiths (who was actually booked while having missiles thrown at him while attempting to take a corner) and Scott Brown were among the Celtic players hit.
Motherwell released a whining statement late last night, accusing Celtic and her supporters of all sorts of sins but failed to recognise the hooliganism that was apparent to everyone at the game from their own fans. Indeed Motherwell PRAISED their fans behaviour while accusing Celtic fans of breaking seats and vandalizing toilets.
Curiously Motherwell failed to release any photographs of this damage.
Today Fraser Wishart, Chief Executive of PFA Scotland, entered the row.
“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.
“PFA Scotland conducted a survey of our members in 2016 as part of a worldwide survey for the World Players Union FIFPro. Worryingly, 35% of those players surveyed said they had been threatened by fans (34% on a match day). Whilst abuse can be of a verbal nature, which is of course unacceptable, the throwing of objects of any type at a footballer is another level and extremely dangerous.
“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 affect 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.”
Last night before they released their statement CQN contacted Motherwell FC making very similar points to those made today by Fraser Wishart. They could diss us but will find it much harder to ignore PFA Scotland whose members were working in an unsafe environment on Wednesday night.
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