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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 7, 2009

SFA investigate post-match brawl at Hamilton

Hamilton and Hearts await their Scottish Football Association sanctions over the tunnel brawl that saw four men sent off in the aftermath of their Scottish Premier League game at New Douglas Park.

The SFA confirmed on Sunday that they would "conduct a full investigation'' into events which led to at least a dozen players from both sides becoming involved in a brawl as they left the field.

Referee David Somers handed the equivalent of red cards to Hearts players Ian Black (insulting and abusive behaviour) and Suso Santana (violent conduct), masseur Alan Robson and unused Hamilton substitute Leon Knight (violent conduct). Hearts defender Eggert Jonsson was also booked for dissent.

Those sanctions were on top of the dismissals of Jambos captain Michael Stewart and defender Ismael Bouzid during what had already been one of the most controversial games of the season.

The tunnel bust-up was witnessed by Somers' assistant Steven Craven and fourth official Euan Norris, as well as SFA head of administration Richard Simpson. It was serious enough to warrant police involvement, though it is understood that there are no plans to issue charges.

However, the SFA will luanch a full investigation into the brawl that occured after goals from James McArthur and Simon Mensing helped Hamilton beat nine-man Hearts 2-1. "I can confirm that the Scottish FA will conduct a full investigation in to events that occurred in the aftermath of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League game between Hamilton Academical and Heart of Midlothian,'' said an SFA spokesman.

Hearts, who have now received 18 red cards in the last 18 months, will be hit hardest. They have faced SFA sanctions for the last five seasons over their poor disciplinary record. August saw them issued with a record £50,000 fine, with an additional £10,000 suspended until January.

Manager Csaba Laszlo insisted he did not see what sparked yesterday's melee but claimed he became involved in trying to separate the players.

"I cannot accuse the Hamilton players and I cannot accuse my players if I didn't see anything,'' he said. "I came between them and I tried to push some Hamilton players and my players away. In defence of my players, the adrenaline was somewhere over their heads. A word or provocation maybe can spark an explosion.''

Hamilton boss Billy Reid said: "I was actually out shaking everybody's hand at the end of the game. Then I heard a scuffle, or whatever it may be, in the tunnel. 'I came in and guys were holding each other. Thing like that shouldn't happen - I fully understand that. But it happens in the game of football.

"My concentration is what's happening on the park and we've had three points at home and we're happy with that.''

Laszlo claimed he had never witnessed such ugly scenes during his time as a manager."I was never involved in a worse finish than this in all my career,'' he said. "Even in the tunnel, I came in and I was pushed left and right.''

Reid disagreed, saying: "I've seen that a lot in Scotland. It shouldn't happen but we're passionate guys and whatever happens happens.''

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