Football fans enjoyed a relatively trouble-free fixture between Celtic and Rangers at Hampden Park yesterday.

Police said yesterday they made nine arrests “in and around the ground” for alleged offences which included sectarian singing and pitch incursion.

Rangers booked their place in the Scottish Cup final, winning 5-4 on penalties after the game had finished 1-1 after 90 minutes and 2-2 at the end of extra time.

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Before kick-off banners were unfurled by fans at the Celtic end of the stadium which said: “Denial is the last stage of death. Rangers then. Zombies now. Hun scum forever.”

The slogan was strongly criticised on social media and a spokesman for Police Scotland said officers were aware.

He added: “Any offence that may have been committed at the match will be fully investigated.”

Meanwhile, kerb stones outside pubs popular with Celtic fans in the Gallowgate were painted red, white and blue on Sunday morning. They were later repainted green and white.


The police spokesman said: “We are aware of the kerb stones being painted and the matter has been referred to Glasgow City Council removal team.”

More details are expected to emerge this morning about police activity connected to the match but a spokesman said only nine arrests were made during the fixture and in the two hours after the final whistle.

A statement released by Police Scotland at 4pm yesterday said: “Nine men, aged between 18 and 56 years, are the subject of a report to the PF (procurator fiscal) for minor public order offences following the Rangers v Celtic Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park, this afternoon, Sunday 17 April 2016.

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“The offences were all committed in and around the ground.

“There will be no further arrest figures released today. A full round up of arrests will be made available to media tomorrow morning, Monday 18 April 2016.”

There were 37 arrests when Celtic and Rangers met in February last year for a League Cup semi-final which Celtic won 2-0.

Police initially announced that 19 people had been arrested but that number doubled overnight.

Ahead of yesterday’s match Chief Superintendent Brian McInulty said his officers will “take every opportunity to learn and prepare ourselves for next season”.

He said: “We now know that Rangers will be in the SPL next year. That means we are going to have a minimum of four fixtures involving Rangers and Celtic.

“I think it is fair to say that most sports fans are fairly excited about that prospect. There is no doubt there are opportunities for us to learn and get better at what we are doing all the time.

“I think that is something we have done if you go back five, six years, we have developed and become more sophisticated in how we police large events.”

He added: “We are getting better and better but we will never become complacent.”

Before the match supporters of both sides enjoyed good natured banter as they mingled in the April sunshine outside Hampden’s main entrance.

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Rangers fan Stuart MacKenzie, 50, from Musselburgh, was there with his daughter Stacey, 23, and son Jordan, 12. He said: “This was a big test for Rangers. The team came through it well. That's us back in the big time so we will need to be stronger next season.”

Chris Lever, 60, from Ballantrae, who also supports the Ibrox club, said: “This match was irrelevant to next season. Rangers will improve. Next season’s squad will bear no resemblance to the side that played today.”

Celtic supporter John McLaughlin, 56, from Cambuslang, said: “I don't think this match has any significance beyond the cup. Both sides will strengthen their squads. However, Rangers fans must be happy with the season they've had.

“In a way it was a no lose situation for them today. If they win they’re heroes if they don't they've done well against a club in a better league.”

Celtic fans Dot Napier, 83, June Reid, 66, and Linda Grant, 56, travelled from Arbroath for the match. June said: “Cup games are totally different from the league. Celtic has to play with more pride if we're going to win the league next season.”

Jamie Cocozza, 31, also a Celtic supporter, added: “This was the final before the final. Deila must now consider his position. He has to go on Monday.”

READ MORE: Cheeky Rangers fans paint kerbs outside Celtic pubs red, white and blue