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Three arrested after reports of mass brawl outside football stadium

Violent clashes ahead of Motherwell's visit to Tynecastle have resulted in three fans being charged.

By STV News

Published 29 Jan 2016.

Three football fans have been charged in connection with violent clashes that occurred outside an Edinburgh football stadium earlier this month.

Police were called to McLeod Street in Edinburgh following reports of fighting between up to 20 rival supporters before the Hearts v Motherwell match on Saturday January 16.

On Friday police traced and arrested two teenagers aged 16 and a 53-year-old man from the Baberton, Newhaven and Gorgie areas of the city.

They are expected to appear in court at a later date and despite their release have also been ordered not to attend any forthcoming football matches as part of their release bail conditions.

The arrests were made as part of the ongoing Operation Rebound.

Inspector Emma Croft said: "As part of our ongoing commitment to tackle fan disorder Police Scotland has been working closely with Hearts FC to identify and address a group of individuals who bring disorder and criminality to the doors of what is a family friendly club.

"These arrests clearly send out the message that such behaviour will not be tolerated and we will work tirelessly to trace those involved in such criminality.

“All three males are now unable to attend a football match for the foreseeable future, which is particularly relevant given next weekend’s Edinburgh derby.

"Operation Rebound will continue and we will work alongside Hearts FC to ensure those responsible for fan disorder are held to account."

Hearts' chairwoman Ann Budge has already publicly condemned the fans involved, citing damage to the club's reputation and increased policing costs of up to £50,000 as a burden the club could do without.

She said: "I cannot begin to tell you how angry this makes me, when we are working so hard to put the club back at the heart of the community.

"Instead of talking proudly about the team’s superb performance...I am instead having to hold meetings with the authorities regarding how we are going to address this behaviour problem."

Since the arrests, a spokesman from Hearts said: "We have a very good and close working relationship with Police Scotland and will continue to do our best with them to eradicate the type of behaviour which is unacceptable to the majority of Hearts supporters."

Anyone with information that might assist officers with their ongoing inquiries can contact police on 101 or anonymously through the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.