SFA condemn ‘primitive act’ after official injured during Rangers loss

The back of assistant referee Calum Spence's head after receiving treatment for an injury. Picture: SNS
The back of assistant referee Calum Spence's head after receiving treatment for an injury. Picture: SNS
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The Scottish Football Association has called for an end to the type of “primitive act” that saw one of its match officials injured during Sunday’s game between Livingston and Rangers.

Assistant referee Calum Spence suffered a wound to the back of his head after a missile was thrown from among the Rangers support during Livingston’s 1-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

Police are investigating the incident, which left Spence requiring medical treatment before continuing.

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell said: “This kind of primitive act - whether something is thrown at players, staff or officials - should be driven out of the game.

“We all have a responsibility to behave in a responsible manner and respect the game we all love.

“At a time when there is so much to be positive about with regards to Scottish football, hopefully this is a wake-up call for some that there are lines of basic decency that should not be crossed.

“I welcome Rangers’ decisiveness in moving quickly to try to identify the individual involved.

“I would also like to place on record my thanks to the Livingston medical staff for their assistance on the day.

“More than anything, I would like to pay tribute to the commitment and professionalism of Calum, who dealt with everything in context and continued with his role.”

John Fleming, the head of referee operations at the SFA, called the perpetrator a coward.

“It is completely unacceptable for someone contributing to the sport to be the subject of such a cowardly, reckless act,” Fleming said.

“I’m sure I speak for the vast majority of people when I say that it simply cannot be tolerated.”

The Scottish Professional Football League could take action once it receives and studies its match delegate’s report, but police are also looking into the incident.

Superintendent Craig Smith, event commander for the match, said: “This is a shocking incident and it is not the type of behaviour we have come to expect from football fans in Scotland.

“We will not tolerate offences of this nature. With this in mind we are eager to trace the person who was spotted throwing an object from the stand.

“I would also ask anyone who has information that can assist our inquiries to get in touch with us immediately. I would also ask anyone who has any photos or footage of this incident to submit this to police.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.