Hearts Anger At Fans Over Sectarian Abuse

Hearts FC has criticised a group of fans being hunted by police for sectarian shouting on the way to a match.

The Edinburgh club said it "strongly condemns any anti-social and offensive behaviour'', and that the group responsible "are not welcome at Hearts''.

British Transport Police appealed for information over two incidents on trains from Edinburgh to Glasgow before the Celtic-Hearts match on Saturday.

In the first incident a group of between eight and 10 Hearts supporters boarded the Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Queen Street service at Haymarket station at around 10.30am.

BTP said they were under the influence of alcohol and during the journey they shouted and swore, prompting other passengers to complain.

At around 1.15pm, a group of around 35 travelling to the match boarded the Bristol Temple Meads to Glasgow Central service at Haymarket station and are reported to have been shouting, swearing and using ``religiously offensive language'' during the journey.

Officers are reviewing CCTV footage and have appealed to any witnesses to contact them.

Hearts apologised to passengers upset by the incidents and said it will work with police to find those responsible.

A club statement read: "Heart of Midlothian Football Club strongly condemns any anti-social and offensive behaviour carried out by a small group of its supporters at the weekend.

"The club works tirelessly to create a family friendly atmosphere at Tynecastle and in the surrounding area and we expect all supporters to take these standards with them whenever they travel to see Hearts.

"We apologise to those individuals who were rightly upset by what seems to have been totally unacceptable behaviour and can assure them that the individuals in question do not represent the club or our values.

"This minority of fans claiming to support the club are not welcome at Hearts and we will be working very closely with British Transport Police to help identify any individual who is besmirching the good name of Heart of Midlothian Football Club and bring them to justice.''

BTP Chief Inspector David Marshall said: "This sort of behaviour is appalling and absolutely unacceptable and why football supporters feel the need to behave in such a manner is beyond me.

"There are other passengers on the train who are not attending the matches and should be able to travel and work without having to be faced with it.''

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