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Home‘Positive meeting’ held over Old Firm after Yousaf postponement threat

‘Positive meeting’ held over Old Firm after Yousaf postponement threat

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A “positive meeting” has been held to discuss the upcoming Old Firm game after a Scottish Government minister threatened the fixture could be postponed.

Thousands of Rangers fans breached lockdown rules last weekend to celebrate the side’s first league win in a decade, leading to worries the scenes could be repeated on March 21 at Celtic Park.

Sport Minister Mairi Gougeon and Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf were involved in the talks on Friday alongside representatives from Police Scotland Glasgow City Council and the two clubs.

Rangers fans / PA Wire

Speaking after the meeting, Ms Gougeon said: “This was a positive meeting which we called to address the need for fans to stay at home during the upcoming fixture on March 21.

“The reason we have allowed elite football to proceed is as much for the benefit of supporters as for those working in professional sport.

“Everyone is being deprived of so much right now – and making so many sacrifices – that the ability to watch a football game safely at home on television should be something that people should have the ability to do.

“But a minority cannot be allowed to act irresponsibly. We want to send out a very clear message that all fans must stay at home – there will be opportunities to come together to celebrate safely, collectively in due course.

“Clubs have a leading role to play in reaching out to their supporters and communicating the vital message that fans and supporters need to stay at home. I welcome that both clubs have agreed to reinforce that message.

“We still face a very real threat from the highly transmissible new variant and cannot risk people’s health at this time, when we are at the very cusp of easing some restrictions.”

It comes after Mr Yousaf tweeted the game would be postponed if there was any police intelligence saying fans were about to “square off” against each other.

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