PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart has condemned the Falkirk fans who targeted Dean Shiels’ disability at East End Park.
The Dunfermline midfielder was already the centre of attention in the Ladbrokes Championship encounter with the Bairns still missing suspended duo Joe McKee and Kevin O’Hara after the pair were handed a combined 12-match ban by the Scottish Football Association after being found guilty of taunting Shiels over the loss of an eye.
The Northern Irishman had to deal with chants from visiting fans, some of whom threw fake eyeballs towards the former Hibernian and Rangers player during the 2-0 win for the Pars.
Falkirk later issued an apology and vowed to find the culprits while in a statement Wishart said: “We condemn the treatment of Dean Shiels by a small minority of Falkirk supporters.
“We find it extremely difficult to understand the mind set of these individuals and are sure that the vast majority of Falkirk supporters will be appalled at this behaviour and the good name of their club being tarnished in this way.
“Nobody, however, should have to endure such abuse at their place of work, football pitch or otherwise, and it is beyond our comprehension that anyone would think such behaviour acceptable.
“We commend Falkirk Football Club for their speedy apology and hope they will follow through on their promise of appropriate action being taken against the individuals responsible.
“Two of our members received lengthy bans for making discriminatory comments towards Dean last year so it seems only fair that those involved in this incident similarly face some form of punishment.”
Wishart continued in his statement to call for players concerns to be taken seriously.
He said: “As we have said many times before, and only recently, a footballer’s workplace is the pitch and like any other employee he, or she, has the right to expect a safe environment in which to work in.
“There is a fine line between banter and abuse and our members simply ask that supporters think about their conduct towards players, and the affect it might have on the individual.”