Police warning as 14,000 Rangers fans expected for Hearts clash

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POLICE are to crack down on antisocial behaviour ahead of a huge weekend of sporting action in the capital with more than 32,000 fans expected at Murrayfield for the crunch Scottish Premiership clash between Hearts and Rangers.

Authorities have warned supporters of both sides to be on their best behaviour for Saturday’s 12.30pm kick off, with as many as 14,000 away fans expected to make the journey along the M8.

The Evening News understands bag searches will be in operation at turnstiles, while police will also be carrying out checks for flares and fireworks.

The match is scheduled to be the final ‘home’ league fixture the Jambos will play at Scotland’s national rugby stadium while the redevelopment of Tynecastle’s main stand continues.

Hearts fans have also been reminded that tickets will not be available to purchase on the day of the match and briefs must be collected by supporters before kick off or printed at home.

A statement on the Hearts website also informed supporters: “No reprints for lost, missing or uncollected tickets will be issued under any circumstances.”

Chief Inspector Alun Williams, Match Commander for the game said: “The match being hosted at Murrayfield brings an additional unique element.

“Ensuring the safety of all those who will attend the match is our priority, and it’s essential that supporters act in a responsible manner that does not put themselves or others at risk.

“As such, flares, fireworks or any controlled containers, which could cause harm if thrown, are strictly forbidden from the ground. Anyone attempting to carry those items into Murrayfield stadium, or who is in possession of alcohol or attempting to enter whilst drunk, is liable to arrest and prosecution.

“This is one of the most exciting fixtures of the Scottish football calendar and we want both sets of fans to enjoy the game safely, and in the proper spirit.”

Police were also keen to remind travelling supporters that coaches and minibuses for the away fans will be parked to the north and west of the stadium on public roads.

A Hearts official said: “Home and away coaches should not arrive more than three hours before kick-off. Home coaches will be parked in McLeod Street near to Gorgie Road and must enter the south end of McLeod Street from Gorgie Road.”

Inspector Williams added: “I’d like to remind visiting supporters and supporters clubs, of the advice from both Hearts and Rangers, that if travelling by coach or minibus, that they should approach Murrayfield from the west of the city through the A8 corridor.

“Turnstiles open at 11am, and I would hope that spectators will choose to arrive early at the stadium.”