Plea to Hibs and St Johnstone fans not to use ‘extremely dangerous’ pyrotechnics ahead of Scottish Cup final
Hibs and St Johnstone football fans have been asked by police not to use “extremely dangerous” pyrotechnics on Saturday when the two teams meet in the Scottish Cup final.
Assistant Chief Constable Alan Spiers also reiterated his earlier advice for supporters to avoid gathering in large groups to stop the spread of Covid-19. He also warned officers will not hesitate to use enforcement powers as a last resort.
Scenes of violence and disorder broke out in Glasgow city centre last weekend involving a minority of Rangers fans which left a number of people injured, including police officers. Among those injured was a man who turned up to hospital with part of his hand having been blown off by a firework.
ACC Spiers said previously it is “vitally important” that both sets of supporters avoid gathering in large groups and stick to the coronavirus regulations in place this Saturday.
Today he said: “I also want to take this opportunity to remind people that the use of pyrotechnics is extremely dangerous.
“We have seen from events in recent weeks that the consequences of their use can be severe, you might not just injure yourself using them, but you could also seriously injure those in your vicinity.”
Police are already working with both clubs and partner agencies, including the Scottish government, to ensure the match goes ahead saely and supporters follow the restrictions for their own safety and that of the wider public and police officers.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also made a plea to fans during her daily briefing on Friday to not gather in big groups in people’s houses, or in hospitality venues, to watch the game.
She reiterated that no one should be congregating anywhere in large numbers at the moment.
The guidance for level two areas, in which most of Scotland is in, states no more than eight people - aged 12 and over - from eight different households should meet up outdoors and that mass gatherings are banned. Eased indoor restrictions this week also means alcohol can be served in pubs up to 10.30pm. People from up to six people from three different households can now meet in a pub or a home.
Ahead of the cup final at Hampden, the Scottish government said their message is clear in that no-one should congregate anywhere in large numbers, and that given the fragility of the current state of the pandemic, they would “strongly advise against” meeting in groups greater than advised in current guidance.
Earlier on Friday, Hibs owner Ron Gordon also urged fans to cheer on their team during the cup final but to do so in line with the government’s Covid-19 rules to avoid risking the good progress made in tackling the virus.
In a heartfelt letter of thanks to Hibs fans, he highlighted the club’s recent success and praised fans for their enduring commitment and support, adding: “I believe as I’m sure you do, that the Sun will Shine on Leith this Scottish Cup Saturday.”
Edinburgh’s lord provost Frank Ross also urged Hibs fans to enjoy the occasion safely and said that, should they win, a fitting celebration will be planned when it is safe and permitted to do so.