Police in Fife have insisted that there is no evidence to suggest clashes outside a Kirkcaldy pub on Saturday night were football related.
At least seven police officers were called to The Tavern in Brodick Road on Saturday evening after violence broke out, although The Courier has learned that no arrests were ultimately made.
The fact that the fighting took place just hours after Celtic played Rangers in the first Old Firm league game for four years — which was shown on Sky Sports — prompted widespread speculation on social media that the incident had been related to the match, but Police Scotland dismissed that notion.
Indeed, one witness who commented on the incident on Facebook seemed to back up that assertion, suggesting that football had “nothing to do with it” and that the pub had been “full of hard/wannabe hard men that had too much to drink”.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police in Kirkcaldy responded to a report of a disturbance at The Tavern in Templehall at 6.30pm on Saturday September 10.
“Inquiries are ongoing into the full circumstances and anyone with information that can assist officers is asked to get in contact via 101.”
Fans who watched the match in pubs and clubs across Fife have been generally praised for their behaviour before, during and after Celtic’s 5-1 victory, but officers have launched an investigation after Old Firm-related graffiti caused some upset near the Old Course and university buildings in St Andrews on Saturday.
The words ‘RIP RFC’ were spray painted in green paint on a wall next to the golf driving ranges at Station Park, while similar incidents were also reported on nearby bus shelters.
However, the graffiti is understood to have appeared prior to Saturday’s game.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman added: “Police in Fife are aware of football-related graffiti in the St Andrews area and are making inquiries to trace those responsible.
“Anyone with information that can assist officers with their investigation is asked to call 101.”
“To report graffiti in Fife, please call Fife Council’s graffiti removal hotline on 03451 55 00 22 or visit Fife Direct.”
The latest news comes as fans of both clubs continue to condemn the shameful behaviour displayed by a minority of supporters on both sides of the Old Firm on Saturday.
Rangers fans caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to a toilet block at Parkhead, with fixtures and roof panels ripped out, while a section of Celtic fans have been criticised for hanging blow-up dolls with nooses around their necks from a stand – just days after former Rangers striker Kris Boyd spoke out about his brother Scott taking his own life last week.
In relation to the latter, Club 1872, a Rangers supporters group, has called on the club to ban Celtic fans from Ibrox until Celtic can prove they have taken “substantive action against the Green Brigade and other overtly sectarian elements within their support”.
“We believe the Rangers board has a duty to ensure that these groups of Celtic supporters are not permitted entry into our home under any circumstances,” it said in a statement.
“Since we do not expect any action from Celtic, the only way to ensure this is to ban all of their supporters from Ibrox.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act sends out a clear message that Scotland will not tolerate any form of prejudice, discrimination or hate crime and it gives police and prosecutors an additional tool to tackle this behaviour.”