Police Scotland warns pubs deemed ‘football grounds’ ahead of Sunday

Police Scotland warns pubs deemed 'football grounds' ahead of Sunday

Police Scotland has warned that because bars and pubs can legally be deemed “football grounds”, football fans who flout the law during the Scottish Cup semi-final on Sunday risk being banned from future matches.

Chief Inspector Stephen Stiff said the minority of people who “spoil the occasion for others” will be Police Scotland’s target this weekend. Anyone who is subject to a football banning order will be barred and anyone who commits an offence in a pub while watching the game could be handed an order.

Mr Stiff said: “The game kicks off at noon and will be televised live, and in many licensed premises.

“This will be the first meeting of the two teams for some time and has the added pressure of being a cup semi-final.

“History indicates that there is a rise in alcohol-related violence, including domestic violence, around an Old Firm game and as such we have been proactive in highlighting this to licensees across the region who will be screening the match live this weekend.

“Police Scotland officers have already made visits to licensed premises to remind staff of their licensing conditions and to offer safety advice.”

He added: “Officers on Sunday are fully aware of those premises where the game is being screened and patrols will be directed accordingly.

“We also need local supporters to understand the wider consequences of their actions if becoming involved in football-related disorder.

“Offenders don’t necessarily need to attend the game to attract a football banning order if convicted for a football-related offence, and we will assess circumstances closely and pursue all legal avenues to prevent future offending.”

Dog-handlers will monitor supporters entering Hampden to prevent any contraband being brought in.

Chief superintendent Brian McInulty, the local policing commander for Greater Glasgow, said: “We will also have police dogs to detect anything that shouldn’t be coming in to the stadium to make sure that the event is a safe environment for everybody there to enjoy.”

He added: “If you are caught taking something in that you shouldn’t have then, quite simple, you will be arrested.”

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