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31st Jan 2022

Dundee United fan sentenced for assaulting Aberdeen’s Funso Ojo

Daniel Brown

Ojo was assaulted as he ran to collect the ball

A Dundee United supporter who attacked Aberdeen midfielder Funso Ojo has been ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.

Marc Jackson, 35, assaulted Ojo as the player ran to collect the ball from near to the home fans after it had rolled out of play. Using both hands, Jackson shoved the Belgian backwards which caused him to stumble.

Dundee United cancelled his season ticket for the remainder of this season, and his status is now set to be reviewed following the sentencing.

The 35-year-old admitted assaulting Ojo by pushing him on the body at Tannadice Park on November 20 2021.

Sheriff Alistair Carmichael said: “This could potentially have influenced the way other fans behaved.

“There were thousands of people there. It is a serious matter.”

The incident caused controversy at the time with Ojo being shown a second yellow card for the clash with Jackson, which led to him being sent off.

The court heard that referee Bobby Madden had no other choice than to book the player due to him having contact with a fan.

Fiscal depute Stewart Duncan said: “The complainer was running at speed to chase a ball which went out of play. He went off the pitch and over the advertising boards towards where the accused was.

“The accused stood up and pushed Mr Ojo to the body with both hands. It caused Mr Ojo to fall back slightly.

“The incident caused additional disruption and forced officers to enter the stands.”

The court was also told that following the incident featuring on BBC Scotland’s Sportscene, Jackson wrote several apologetic emails to both clubs.

Solicitor Larry Flynn, defending, said: “He would want to help his team, but not like this.

“This was not someone who gloated or was proud of what he did. He realised straight away the mistake he made.”

Dundee United won the fixture 1-0, with Ian Harkes’ 80th minute goal securing victory over 10-men Aberdeen.

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