Sectarian fears at Old Firm clash allayed

police expecting a surge in violence over the weekend amid an investigation into parcel bombs sent to Celtic manager Neil Lennon said nine people were arrested at yesterday’s Old Firm clash at Ibrox but none of the offences were linked to sectarianism.

Six arrests were made in the ground, with another three immediately outside.

A spokesperson for Strathclyde Police added that all arrests were for “minor offences” such as being drunk inside the stadium and breach of the peace.

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Police had deployed an extra 1,000 officers to the streets in anticipation of violent clashes.

The fears had arose as detectives hunt whoever sent parcel bombs to Mr Lennon and two others, who are high-profile Celtic supporters.

Officers have appealed for a couple to come forward as they may have “vital” information. The man and woman were seen getting onto a bus in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, near to where one of the packages was posted.

Detective Chief Superintendent John Mitchell, Head of Crime Division, said: “I am again re-appealing to anyone with any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem to them, to contact us. Please let us decide whether that information is important to our inquiries and take the appropriate action.”

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Two packages had been sent to Lennon and one each to Paul McBride QC and former MSP Trish Godman in recent weeks.

Speaking ahead of yesterday’s game, Lennon said the threats would not stop him from managing the Parkhead club.

“I’ve had this for 10 years but I don’t want to say you get used to it, because you never do. But it is not going to deter me from doing what I want to do.

On Saturday, two men were arrested following police raids targeting the homes of people allegedly involved in Old Firm internet hate campaigns. A 23-year-old and a 27-year-old were charged with sectarian breach of the peace and are expected to appear in court tomorrow.