Raith Rovers threaten hefty bans after flares thrown on to pitch in cup tie

Flares thrown on to the pitch at Stark's Park (Pic: Fife Free Press)
Flares thrown on to the pitch at Stark's Park (Pic: Fife Free Press)

Raith Rovers have vowed to impose hefty bans on fans who threw flares on to the pitch during the club’s Scottish Cup tie against Dunfermline Athletic at the weekend.

It described the actions of those responsible as “gross stupidity.”

The damage to the artificial pitch (Pic: Fife Free Press)

The damage to the artificial pitch (Pic: Fife Free Press)

The flares were thrown from the home stand after they scored the opening goal in a 3-0 victory over their Fife rivals.

There were reports one fan sustained significant burns to their clothing, while people closest to where they landed struggled for breath.

The cost of repairs to the artificial pitch is still being assessed, and the club may yet face sanctions by the SFA.

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Bob Farmer, general manager at the club, said: “It is unbelievable that people would bring these devices into our stadium, never mind launch them on to the pitch”.

In a statement, the club condemned the actions of the individuals who brought the flares into Stark’s Park, and threw them amid the goalscoring celebrations.

It said: “As well as disrupting the flow of the match at a crucial point in the cup tie, this caused damage to the artificial playing surface installed last summer which will now require repairs in four separate areas.

“The cost and inconvenience of doing so is, as yet, unclear as we are awaiting inspection by specialists.”

The statmeent continued: “Of greater concern was the potential for injury caused by the devices activation in the stand.

“These devices deliver significant risk, not just through burns but the effect the smoke has on those with breathing problems and the panic it can cause to young and vulnerable fans. This was gross stupidity.”

The club said the costs to the club extended to a possible increase in the number of stewards, more training to respond to this type of incident, and any action from the football authorities.

Rovers said they were aware one person had been arrested, and positive lines of inquiry were being conducted by police to trace others.

And it added: “Raith Rovers will be imposing a significant ban on those involved and will be seeking compensation for the damage caused.”

Anyone with information can email the club safety@raithrovers.net or the police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111