A MAN has been charged after Kilmarnock FC striker Josh Magennis claimed he had been the target of offensive comments during a match against Hearts at the weekend.
Police said a 48-year-old man, who was sitting in the Tynecastle end during the match, has been charged with offensive behaviour at football and an offence under the Threatening Communications Act.
He has been banned from going within half-a-mile of Tynecastle Stadium or any other ground where Hearts are playing, for two hours before the match until two hours after it has finished, as part of his special bail conditions.
Police said “xenophobic comments” were made during the club’s game against Kilmarnock at Tynecastle on Saturday.
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Constable Gavin Stupart, from Wester Hailes police station, said: “Since Kilmarnock FC reported this matter we have been carrying our extensive inquiries alongside Hearts and I would like to thank them for their assistance and support now that we have made an arrest.
“Offensive behaviour at football matches will not be tolerated and whenever we identify those responsible we will ensure they are brought before the court.
“We will also seek special bail conditions and banning orders to prevent offenders from attending further football matches.”
Police said the man will appear in court at a later date.
Hearts said in a statement on Saturday: “The club can confirm that following this afternoon’s game, a complaint was made to Police Scotland by a Kilmarnock player.
“The Kilmarnock player alleges that an abusive comment was made relating to his nationality by an individual seated within the home end at Tynecastle.
“The alleged abusive remark related to the player being Irish. The player is from Northern Ireland. To clarify, this allegation does not involve the player’s colour, religion or sexuality.”