Hamilton play down fracas

Accies claim tunnel clash blown out of proportion

Hamilton have moved to play down the brawl in the tunnel following Sunday's Scottish Premier League victory over Hearts.

The Scottish Football Association have launched an investigation into the ugly scenes following the final whistle at New Douglas Park, with at least a dozen players involved in the bust-up

Hearts pair Suso Santana, club masseur Alan Robson and unused Hamilton substitute Leon Knight were shown red cards by referee David Somers, who also issued a post-match red to visiting midfielder Ian Black for insulting and abusive behaviour.

Those were on top of the on-field dismissals of Jambos captain Michael Stewart and defender Ismael Bouzid in one of the most controversial games of the season.

Accies secretary Scott Struthers, who witnessed the melee, said: "There was some pushing and shoving, nothing I haven't seen before."

The trouble is thought to have been sparked by a clash between Suso and Knight, with police forced to intervene as players from both sides then waded in, although no charges will be brought.

Proportion

Struthers added: "The whole affair has been blown out of all proportion.

"I was present throughout and the referee dealt with the incident, although he took an hour to do so, and I don't expect the matter to go further."

Strathclyde Police are not planning any criminal charges but the SFA could yet take action.

If so, Hearts would be hit hardest after picking up their 18th red card in 18 months.

Fined a record £50,000 for poor discipline in August, with £10,000 of that suspended until January, they will almost certainly have to fork out the latter figure next month.

Another record fine may also follow when the SFA disciplinary panel meets on 26th January.

Appeal

Hearts confirmed they would appeal Stewart's 48th-minute red card, which was shown when Somers decided he had lashed out at Accies captain Alex Neil.

Stewart will write to the SFA, providing documentary and video evidence in a bid to have the decision overturned.

He told his club's official website: "I hope that the Scottish FA will annul the red card I received.

"I strongly believe TV evidence shows that I did not commit any act of violent conduct as reported by the referee."