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Hibs and St Johnstone allowed fans at Scottish Cup final

Hampden showpiece will no longer be played without fans after UEFA and Scottish FA agree deal.

Hibs and St Johnstone allowed fans at Scottish Cup final SNS Group
Hibs and St Johnstone played in front of an empty Hampden during their League Cup semi-final in January.

The Scottish FA is hopeful up to 2000 supporters will be allowed into Hampden Park for the Scottish Cup Final.

It’s after a change of heart from UEFA who’ve confirmed a ‘limited number’ of Hibs and St Johnstone fans can go to the big game.

The final was expected to be played behind closed doors, but changes to lockdown rules mean up to 500 supporters can gather in Scottish stadiums from Monday.

The exact number who can attend the final on May 22 has not yet been confirmed.

A spokesperson for the SFA said: “We have now made a submission to the Scottish Government for permission to increase the number of spectators from the maximum 500 permitted under Level 2 restrictions.  

“We are grateful to UEFA for removing the condition that required the final to be played behind closed doors, after the postponement of the tie from May 8 to 22 due to the suspension of football during the second wave of the pandemic.”

A relaxation of Scottish Government rules will allow crowds of at least 500 at outdoor events from next Monday but events organisers can apply to the local authority to host bigger attendances.

UEFA said in a statement: “We are in a position to announce that UEFA has been able to find a solution with the Scottish FA to allow a limited number of spectators for the Scottish Cup final.”

Aberdeen had offered to stage the final when it appeared that fans would be locked out of Hampden but the game is heavily associated with the national stadium, although Saints won their only Scottish Cup at Celtic Park.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Restricted numbers of supporters will be permitted from 17 May in areas that are in level two or below, and the levels that are permissible without seeking special permission are set out in publicly available guidance.

“It will be for the Scottish FA to take decisions about supporter attendance at the cup final, and the stadium in which it takes place.

“The football authorities and individual clubs will be able to apply for special permission for increased numbers, with two metres physical distancing, for individual events and these would then be carefully considered.”

Hibs welcomed the news but urged supporters not to contact the ticket office until precise numbers have been confirmed.

A spokesman for Hibernian FC said: “It is positive news to hear UEFA have given approval to the Scottish FA to have limited fans at The Scottish Cup Final. We are in regular conversation with the Scottish FA and the precise number of supporters is still to be determined and will depend upon gaining approval from the Scottish Government.

“Once we know what the final number is, we will let fans know how we plan to distribute the small number of tickets available. Meantime we would urge supporters not to contact the ticket office on this matter. We will update fans as soon as we possibly can on how we plan to distribute tickets.”

Speaking before the confirmation but after the SFA’s request, St Johnstone manager Callum Davidson said: “It’s great news. It’s a real positive outlook. It’s great from the SFA, obviously they are working really hard to get supporters in.

“Obviously we would like to play at Hampden and get fans in the stadium. It’s great news, although our record has been pretty good with no fans at the stadium.

“The sooner we can get it done and make sure the fans stay safe, the players will really appreciate that.

“It’s something our fans don’t really see very often. We have been there once already in a final with nobody there. It would be fantastic for any number.

“Players for me have performed really well with no fans but it helps when there are supporters in the stadium. So get them through the door as soon as we can do it safely.”