Justice minister: Alcohol ban to stay after cup final violence

Michael Matheson says events at Hampden 'underline' the need to keep present legislation.

Disorder: Police on the pitch at Hampden on Saturday. <strong>Jeff Holmes / PA Wire/Press Association Images</strong>
Disorder: Police on the pitch at Hampden on Saturday. Jeff Holmes / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Justice secretary Michael Matheson has said events at the Scottish Cup final on Saturday “underline” the need to keep the ban on alcohol at football grounds.

His comments came after Police Scotland revealed they arrested 14 people in and around Hampden on the day of the match.

Fighting broke out after Hibernian’s 3-2 victory over Rangers, with thousands of fans invading the pitch.

Mr Matheson said: “I think if anybody thought that reintroducing alcohol into Scottish football was a good idea, events of Saturday, I believe, just underline that it was not and I’m pleased that we stood our ground on that particular issue and opposed those parties in the Scottish Parliament who sought to try to change the legislation to allow alcohol to be reintroduced to grounds.”

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The ban on alcohol in football grounds was introduced after violence at the 1980 Scottish Cup final and has been in place ever since.

Police Scotland said three men, aged 18, 19 and 23, were arrested for allegedly breaching the Offensive Behaviour at Football Scotland Act due to a pitch invasion.

Another three men, aged aged 17, 18 and 22, were arrested for alleged disorder outside the stadium, while a 44-year-old man was arrested for allegedly trying to enter the stadium while drunk.

A 35-year-old man was arrested and detained by the police for attempting to enter the stadium while drunk and while having a football banning order in place. A 49-year-old man was reported to the procurator fiscal over an alleged assault.

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Three men, two aged 28 and one aged 49, were reported to the procurator fiscal for alleged street drinking.

A 29-year-old man was reported for alleged drug offences while a 58-year-old man was reported to the for alleged street trading offences.

Glasgow Shettleston SNP MSP John Mason earlier said the disorder at the final show now is not “an appropriate time” to scrap the Offensive behaviour Act

He has lodged a motion before the Scottish Parliament which states the “scenes” after the cup final show the need to keep the both the act and the ban on the consumption of alcohol at football grounds in place.


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