Fan behaviour plea as Old Firm clash in Scottish Cup final

Home UK News Fan behaviour plea as Old Firm clash in Scottish Cup final
Fan behaviour plea as Old Firm clash in Scottish Cup final

PA Media Fans on lamp postsPA Media

The council and police want to avoid a repeat of last weekend’s celebrations

The Scottish Police Federation has called for dedicated fan zones to tackle football disorder ahead of the Old Firm Scottish Cup final clash on Saturday.

The Celtic-Rangers match in Glasgow is the first time the clubs have met in the final for 22 years.

It comes after four officers were injured last weekend when about 25,000 fans gathered in the city centre to celebrate Celtic’s premiership victory.

Police Scotland said “appropriate” plans were place for public safety around the Saturday’s match, which kicks off at 15:00 at Hampden Park.

Glasgow City Council branded the damage to the city’s Trongate last Saturday as “unacceptable”.

Police made 19 arrests after Celtic fans set off flares and fireworks, climbed onto traffic lights and bus stops, and vandalised shop fronts and street furniture.

Litter on the streets of Trongate in Glasgow pictured from above

Glasgow city council teams worked through the night to clean up last weekend

The police federation, which represents rank and file officers, said dedicated fan zones would minimise the impact on businesses and people living in these areas.

General secretary David Kennedy said zones should be put in place similar to those for fans of European teams playing in Glasgow.

He told BBC Scotland News this would also ease the burden on officers.

“The police will have just under 1000 officers for the operational part of the cup final and they will be involved in crowd control and making sure people are safe,” he said.

“That can cause problems for the police service, because we have 1000 less officers and a lot of them are working on their rest days.

“Officers will deal with it as they always do. Any old firm game or cup final they know what will come from it.”

Mr Kennedy also urged fans to remember that many of the officers working at the match “will be fans themselves on either side”.

He said: “99.9% of the fans want to go and watch their team, see their team win then go home safely.

“The issues are what overspills outside the club. The clubs don’t pay for that and would probably argue that they don’t have to pay for that.”

Celtic declined to comment on their fans’ unofficial celebrations last weekend.

Council staff worked through the night to clear debris from the streets

Glasgow's George Square following an unofficial Rangers fan event in May 2021

Glasgow’s George Square after the unofficial Rangers fan gathering in May 2021

Glasgow city council said Old Firm disorder in previous years has caused “significant” problems around the city.

In 2021, more than 50 people were arrested when Rangers fans celebrated the club’s league trophy win in George Square.

Thousands of fans defied Covid warnings and marched from Ibrox Stadium to the city centre, despite requests not to gather.

At the time, then first minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “utterly disgusted by the Rangers fans who rampaged through the city”.

Glasgow City Council said it had held discussions with Police Scotland on how fan gatherings this weekend could be handled.

It said it had also had “positive discussions” with both Celtic and Rangers last year to discuss plans for organised celebrations in future.

A spokesperson said: “The council continues to believe that one way to reduce the negative impact of these events would be for clubs to offer supporters more opportunities to celebrate safely.

“The council, for its part, has always committed to looking at how it can support and facilitate any proposals.

“Meetings also took place earlier this year – and, while this has not yet led to any proposals from the clubs, we have continued to engage regularly and positively with them, including in relation to this weekend’s cup final.”

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said  “appropriate policing plans” were in place to maintain public safety and minimise disruption to the community. 

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.