Slender fans for Scotland soccer pilot events


Scottish Premiership back with fans Image: Ross County FC

Restricted number of fans will be present for two Scottish Premiership football matches to be held on September 12th following discussions between Government officials and the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL). It will be pilot events.

The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) is the national men’s association football league in Scotland. While the Scottish Cup includes all the teams within the SPFL, the competition is run and organized by the Scottish Football Association.

It will be a clash between Scottish professional football teams Aberdeen and Kilmarnock and Ross County and Celtic with 300 home supporters in attendance.

Both Aberdeen and Ross County will provide a post-match report on operational delivery to facilitate future pilot events and welcoming fans back to the stadiums. The clubs have also initiated steps to make certain fans attending will be local to their areas to keep travel to a minimum.

Saturday’s matches at football stadia St Mirren and Ibrox had been proposed as further pilot events but they will now go ahead sans fans following the extension of COVID-19 restrictions to the west of Scotland.

St Mirren Park is a football stadium in Paisley, Scotland. It is the home of Scottish professional football club St Mirren. Ibrox Stadium is a football stadium on the south side of the River Clyde in the Ibrox area of Glasgow, Scotland. The home of Scottish professional football club Rangers F.C., Ibrox is the third largest football stadium in Scotland, with an all-seated capacity of 50,817.

Asserted Scotland’s Sports Minister Joe FitzPatrick, “No final decision has yet been taken regarding the general resumption of stadia events with restricted numbers of spectators and nothing should be taken for granted at this stage. However, the Scottish Government has agreed that the Scottish Professional Football League can hold two pilot events, each with 300 home supporters only, on September 12th.”

“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes in recent months to create the protocols and testing regimes to allow top-level professional sport in Scotland to resume, and this arrangement follows extensive discussions with the Scottish Football Association, SPFL and clubs about public safety, particularly in relation to physical distancing and hygiene measures,” FitzPatrick added.

“The football authorities and the clubs involved have also been able to review and learn from the pilot event staged by Scottish Rugby on August 28th and we are confident there will be strict protocols in place at these two initial pilot football events,” the Minister continued.

SPFL boss Neil Doncaster added, “We look forward to building on the successful supporter rugby pilot at BT Murrayfield and I know that clubs take the responsibility for the safe return of supporters seriously. This is another significant step forward for Scottish football and I reiterate the importance of fans to our national game.”

“The Joint Response Group (JRG) will continue to liaise with all clubs, especially the home clubs, in the coming week to ensure all protocols and guidance are adhered to and that fans can look forward to a phased return to supporting their respective teams.” Doncaster informed.

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