Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has reiterated her Old Firm derby cancellation threat if Glasgow Rangers and their rivals do not continue to do all they can to stop large groups of fans gathering.
Sturgeon reiterates Old Firm threat
Sturgeon had already suggested the match could be called off after thousands of Rangers fans took to the street less than 10 days ago to celebrate their first Premiership title win in 10 years (The Times).
Since then, both Rangers (via The Glasgow Times) and Celtic (via The Scotsman) have asked fans to stay at home for the clash between the two this coming weekend, but Sturgeon does not yet appear to be satisfied. She said (via The Daily Express):
“No final decision has been made yet. I welcome the statements made by both Rangers and Celtic.
“Of course it was Rangers fans who were gathering a week ago.
“I hope the clubs will continue that over the next couple of days. It can’t just be one statement and then it’s done. As we know, from our experience of the last year, these communications are really important on an ongoing basis.
“I spoke to the chief constable last week about his views on what might transpire if the Old Firm match goes ahead. The Justice Secretary has been in contact with the police and we will be in further contact with the police as this week goes on.
“They will have intelligence of their own about whether it appears to them that fans in the main are following the advice of the clubs and staying at home, or whether there’s a significant risk of fans coming out to gather.
“On the basis of all of that we will have to make a judgement.”
Trying too hard
Usually, this fixture has the potential to be a dangerous one. The Old Firm derby is one of the biggest rivalries in world football, and when something is on the line it can provide a hostile and tense atmosphere. However, this time around, it is likely to be at its most subdued.
After all, the Gers’ status as Scottish champions has already been confirmed with six games left to spare (BBC), while Celtic are destined to finish in a distant second place behind the Ibrox outfit. Why would Rangers fans risk the reputation of their club when the hard work has already been done? Any supporter who does should take a long hard look at themselves, especially in this current climate.
In other news, Rangers fans slam this Union Bears statement.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience