BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Livingston have urged their own supporters to help identify fellow ‘fans’ who allegedly racially abused Lions club captain Darren Cole.
The West Lothian outfit have launched an investigation following ugly scenes during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Dumbarton at the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium.
It is believed a small group of Livi supporters illegally smuggled alcohol into the ground, were involved in skirmishes with other spectators and aimed unacceptable levels of verbal abuse at Cole throughout the contest.
They urged fans to come forward with any information, Tweeting: “LFC does not tolerate racist & antisocial conduct by our own “fans”. Can you help ID the culprits?”
Livingston’s full statement on the matter reads: “Livingston FC has received several complaints this evening regarding the behaviour of a small groups of so-called supporters who attended today’s game in Dumbarton.
“We understand these individuals allegedly arrived at the game drunk, and illegally secreted bottles of alcohol into the Stadium. It’s further alleged that one or more of these bottles was later smashed inside the stand, and one individual launched an assault upon another.
“We have also been told that this same group shouted racist abuse at Darren Cole, among a list of other expletives aimed at our Club Captain.
“We are now fully investigating this issue and shall advise further in due course.
“Suffice to say we expect our supporters to act as ambassadors for the club, especially when the team is playing away from home. The overwhelming majority do just this, but all it takes is one rotten apple to taint the reputation of the Club and all our decent supporters
“We fully accept that football generates passion in the stands, and from time to time frustrations boil over into verbal comments. These are part of the game – but only within reason. We operate a zero tolerance approach to racist abuse, and those found to have indulged in such acts will be dealt with accordingly.
“Violence and other antisocial behaviour is similarly not tolerated, and we will cooperate fully with Police Scotland should this ever be required.”