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Thursday 8 December 2016

Charges dropped against Hibs and Gers over Cup final fiasco

All disciplinary charges against Hibernian and Rangers over the Hampden crowd trouble have been dismissed.

The Scottish Football Association confirmed that a judicial panel had thrown out notices of complaint issued to both clubs in the wake of the on-field violence and damage following the William Hill Scottish Cup final.

Both clubs had been cited over damage to advertising equipment while Hibs also faced charges over the destruction of the goalposts and areas of the pitch after their late win sparked a pitch invasion.

The panel dismissed Hibernian's case as "irrelevant", meaning that charges against Rangers were also dropped.

The SFA published the panel's reasons, which hinge on clubs' unwillingness to bring in "strict liability" to the governing body's disciplinary procedures, an approach which would make them liable for their supporters' behaviour. Clubs voted overwhelmingly against adopting the measure, which underlines UEFA's disciplinary processes, in 2013.

The panel cited Article 28 of the SFA's articles, which state that a club shall "take all such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure the safety, good conduct and behaviour of its supporters on any ground".

This approach meant that clubs could not be automatically punished for misbehaviour by their fans.

Both clubs could still be given a bill for damage to the stadium, according to the panel.

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