South Wales Police have launched an investigation after the Sheffield Steelers’ mascot was escorted out of the stadium during the EIHL Challenge Cup Final against the Cardiff Devils.
The man inside the Steeler Dan costume and a spectator were thrown out of the arena after emotions ran high during their 3-2 defeat at Cardiff’s Ice Arena Wales.
Both men have since filed complaints, claiming that they were manhandled by security guards.
Steeler Dan said that he was spat at and beaten by fans, accusations which the Devils deny.
Spectator John Harper said he had objected to the security guards’ treatment of the mascot and was subsequently also asked to leave.
He said that security personnel used excessive force to remove him from the arena, resulting in his t-shirt being ripped.
But the Cardiff Devils say that there was no mistreatment and that the men had to be removed in the interests of health and safety.
Todd Kelman, managing director of the Cardiff Devils, said: “The mascot was spoken to six times. He yelled at stewards while in costume and he tried to interfere with our goal judges. If a fan or a mascot is asked to calm down and they don’t then all security can do is ask them to leave.
“I see this investigation as a complete waste of police time. I have had loads of Sheffield fans say that he wasn’t treated unfairly. It’s ridiculous, comical actually.
“I think it’s just bitterness at losing the cup final.”