Fans’ group calls for clampdown on use of pyro in Scottish football

A ten-year-old Dundee fan was scarred after being struck by a pyrotechnic device during a recent match with St Johnstone.

Fans’ group calls for clampdown on use of pyrotechnics in Scottish football SNS Group

The Scottish Football Supporters’ Association has called on the authorities to clamp down heavily on the use of pyrotechnics in Scottish football.

After a string of incidents at stadiums this season, most notably when a 10-year-old Dundee fan was scarred during a recent match against St Johnstone, the fans’ group has warned a spectator could be killed if the law around pyrotechnics is not enforced properly.

“It is only by luck that no-one has been even more seriously hurt or indeed lost their life,” read a statement from the SFSA.

“Those old enough to remember the Bradford disaster (in 1985) will recall that it was caused by a lit cigarette.

“Millions of cigarettes had been smoked up to that point in football grounds, but it only took one to kill 56 and injure a further 265.

“Proponents of pyros will tell us that modern grounds are made of concrete and won’t burn, but human beings burn easily at low temperatures (just above 44C for the skin to start to burn) – as do their clothes and, moreover, there are many old stands in Scotland that are still made of wood, while plastic burns at a temperature far less than that of the so-called safe (500C) pyros.”

The SFSA claims 65 per cent of fans believe the use of pyrotechnics at matches detracts from the overall spectator experience.

“In our view, the case against pyros is overwhelming,” it added. “While we acknowledge that a minority of (mainly young, almost exclusively male) fans find excitement in their use, the dangers are simply not worth the risk.

“Consequently, it is incumbent on the SFA (Scottish Football Association), the SPFL (Scottish Professional Football League) and all the clubs to enforce the law in the same way they do for cigarette smoking, racist or other discriminatory remarks.

“If they don’t then there is a grim inevitability that one day in the future someone will die as a result of illegal pyrotechnics at a football match.”

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