Hibs Scottish Cup final ticket blow as only 300 fans to attend Hampden for showpiece match
There will be fewer Hibs fans than hoped for at the Scottish Cup final next weekend after the Scottish Government insisted on two-metre social distancing at the Hampden showpiece.
Hibs and opponents St Johnstone had hoped to receive up to 1000 tickets each for the match after UEFA gave permission for the stadium, which is currently undergoing preparations ahead of Euro 2020, to be opened up to spectators for the May 22 showdown.
A move to level 2 restrictions on Monday will mean that up to 500 supporters can attend football matches in Scotland, but the Scottish Football Association applied to Holyrood for special dispensation to allow for a 2000-strong crowd into the cup final, using the same seating model that will be applied for next month’s Euros, which will see 12,000 supporters attend matches at Hampden using 1.5m social distancing.
However, according to the SFA, the Scottish Government has insisted on a two-metre distancing for the Scottish Cup final, and with only the South Stand available due to ongoing work on the East/West and North Stands, that means only 600 fans in total will be able to attend – 300 from each club.
A statement from the SFA confirmed: “Following dispensation from UEFA to allow a restricted number of supporters to attend the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park on Saturday May 22, the Scottish FA approached the Scottish Government for 2000 fans to be accommodated using the approved UEFA EURO 2020 stadium seating template.
“The Scottish Government has today confirmed that a two metre physical distancing configuration must be used, not the 1.5m configuration that will be in operation for UEFA EURO 2020. At two metre physical distancing, the number of spectators able to be hosted in the approved areas of the stadium reduces to 600 in total – 300 per club.
“We have notified both finalists, Hibernian and St Johnstone, and while the number is less than anticipated we look forward to a limited number of fans attending the cup final.”
It means the vast majority of the 10,000 season ticket holders who have been unable to watch Hibs in the flesh this season will again have to make do with TV or live stream coverage for the club’s biggest match of the season.
Hibs are currently considering how best to distribute the limited available briefs and will update fans on Friday.
A club statement read: “Hibernian FC today confirmed that approval granted by the Scottish Government means up to 300 Hibernian fans will be able to attend the Scottish Cup Final on May 22nd.
“The Club is considering the fairest and best way to distribute the tickets and will let supporters know tomorrow.
“Thank you for your patience.”
St Johnstone also updated fans with a statement that read: “The Football Club can confirm we've received official notification that up to 300 St Johnstone supporters will be able to attend the Scottish Cup Final.
“We are now considering the fairest way to distribute the tickets and we will let our supporters know as soon as possible.
“Once again, we thank our supporters for their patience and understanding.”