Hearts v Celtic: Police to throw ‘ring of steel’ around Murrayfield for Betfred Cup semi-final

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HUNDREDS of police officers will throw a ring of steel around Murrayfield to keep Hearts and Celtic fans apart at Sunday’s League Cup semi-final.

The west of the Capital faces lockdown as roads are closed and parking restrictions in place to help accommodate an expected 67,000 sell-out.

Roads will be closed and extra train carriages laid on for the big game on Sunday. Picture: TSPL

Roads will be closed and extra train carriages laid on for the big game on Sunday. Picture: TSPL

Extra train carriages will be laid on for the 1.30pm kick-off but with a booze ban in place and police travelling with fans from Glasgow.

Senior officers refused to disclose details of the massive operation but a source told the Evening News: “There’ll be 200 officers involved. There should be strict segregation in place.

“There’ll be 30,000 Celtic fans coming from the west – including 10,000 by train and 10,000 by car – and there’ll be stuff in place for them coming in.

“There shouldn’t be any issues and we don’t anticipate there will be any issues – everything is in hand.”

READ MORE: All Hearts fans need to know ahead of the Betfred Cup semi-final against Celtic

Scotrail announced trains to and from Edinburgh via Airdrie and Bathgate will operate with six carriages throughout the day.

But passengers are warned to expect busier services than normal as supporters make their way to and from the game.

Drivers also face major disruptions as sweeping road closures are put in place to shepherd opposing supporters to different sides of the ground.

Major routes including Corstorphine Road, Haymarket Terrace the West Approach Road, with closures briefly prior to the kick-off and between 2.30pm and 6.30pm.

Parking restrictions begin at 8am on the day and end at 6.30pm with Corstorphine Road and Murrayfield Road among those earmarked for Celtic coaches.

Streets including Wheatfield Street and Wheatfield Place, have been set aside for Hearts’ fans coaches with parking restrictions in place.

READ MORE: Police warn football fans to behave at Betfred Cup semi-final clashes

Police have commandeered Russell Road and Sauchiebank to park their vehicles while the taxi rank on Haymarket Terrace will be closed from 2pm to 6.30pm.

Senior British Transport Police officers warned fans causing trouble on trains could face football banning orders with spotchecks by police.

Drunk fans will be barred from the ground and any tryingf to smuggle in flares or smoke bombs face arrest.

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said: “Anyone who involves themselves in acts of sectarianism, disorder or violence will be dealt with appropriately.”