Police probe Motherwell-Rangers play-off brawl

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POLICE are to launch an investigation after fights broke out at Fir Park football stadium following Motherwell’s win over Rangers yesterday as the Ibrox side condemned the behaviour of Bilel Mohsni as “completely unacceptable”.

Rangers substitute Mohsni was seen throwing punches at Motherwell’s Lee Erwin before players from both sides waded in. Pitch officials and stewards tried to break up the fight and Moshni was one of three players red carded by referee Craig Thomson following the scenes.

Following the initial altercation, a mass brawl started, prompting home supporters to flood on to the pitch – despite warnings from police and security to remain in their seats – and mounted police to wade in.

In a statement, Rangers said they would co-operate with investigations into yesterday’s incident, adding that disciplinary procedures would have been launched had Mohsni’s contract not already expired.

Afterwards yesterday’s incident, Erwin said: “I tried to shake Mohsni’s hand to wish him all the best but he told me to f*** off and reacted badly.

“I pushed him away and he reacted badly. A player at a club at that level shouldn’t be acting like that. It’s embarrassing for him and the club.”

Rangers player Bilel Mohsni and Motherwell's Lee Erwin clash after the Scottish Premiership Play Off Final. Picture: PA

Rangers player Bilel Mohsni and Motherwell's Lee Erwin clash after the Scottish Premiership Play Off Final. Picture: PA

Team-mate Stephen Pearson said: “I think Mohsni kicked Lee Erwin and then punched him. That’s what I seen. And then all the bodies came in. I’m sure the right action will be taken.”

In response to the disturbance, Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: “Police Scotland will conduct a full review of the circumstances and liaise with the appropriate partners and decide how best to take the matter forward over the coming days.”

After the game, Motherwell boss Ian Baraclough said: “I was trying to console Stuart McCall and the Rangers lads and then I saw the melee. It was unsavoury scenes and football doesn’t need that – there’s no place for anything like that.”

Scotland boss Gordon Strachan said: “I don’t know what it takes to set off Mohsni, but talking to the lads I don’t think it takes too much. That can’t be condoned – there’s no excuse whatsoever.”

Rangers' Bilel Mohsni (centre) clashes with Motherwell players. Picture: SNS

Rangers' Bilel Mohsni (centre) clashes with Motherwell players. Picture: SNS

Former Rangers skipper David Weir said: “Hopefully, Mohsni gets punished for his behaviour.”

However, former Motherwell captain Stephen Craigan said: “I think Lee Erwin has a part to play.

“As much as he put his hand out to shake Mohsni’s hand, if he doesn’t want to do it, then let him go. Motherwell had a job to do and did it. There was no need to antagonise him by pushing him. But it doesn’t take much to set Mohsni off.”

The incident was not the first of the day, as earlier in the game, Rangers’ Lee McCulloch had been hit by a flag pole.

Rangers' Bilel Mohsni clashes with Lee Erwin. Picture: SNS

Rangers' Bilel Mohsni clashes with Lee Erwin. Picture: SNS

The team captain was chasing the ball as it went over the sideline when a Motherwell fan lifted his unfurled flag and hit him just before half time.

The flag pole appeared to strike McCulloch in the face.

Video footage of the incident has been shared thousands of times on social media, sparking outrage amongst Rangers’ fans.

Rangers will remain in the lower-league Championship for at least another year after Motherwell clinched a 3-0 victory in the second leg of their Scottish Premiership play-off final, winning 6-1 on aggregate.