SFA ‘full steam ahead’ with plans to allow fans at Euros

Chief executive Ian Maxwell says governing body 'absolutely committed' to fans being at Hampden for the games.

SFA ‘full steam ahead’ with plans to allow fans at Euros SNS Group

Chief executive Ian Maxwell revealed the Scottish Football Association is “continuing full steam ahead” with plans to allow fans into Hampden Park for the Euros.

Glasgow is the only part of Scotland to remain in the higher tier of Covid-19 restrictions and that meant there were no supporters allowed into the national stadium to see St Johnstone beat Hibernian in Saturday’s Scottish Cup final.

Speaking on Friday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Glasgow will remain at level three for a further week before review.

Hampden Park will host four matches in the delayed 2020 European Championships, the first of which will be Scotland’s opening group game against Czech Republic on June 14.

Maxwell said: “The decision was made when Scotland was in a similar position in terms of the pandemic so nothing has changed in that regard.

“So until we are told otherwise we are absolutely continuing full steam ahead and looking to 12,000 fans being able to cheer on the team and using the power that generates to help football inspire a nation.

“It was never a guarantee. It was always caveated as every host city was, and every host city is in the same predicament, depending on the virus, that may have an impact but obviously we hope that is not the case.

“Scottish Government are looking at the Euros as part of getting the events industry back, that has to start somewhere. There is no doubt about that.

“We are absolutely committed to fans being in the stadium for the games.

“Until we are told otherwise there will be spectators in the stadium, that’s all we can say at this moment in time.”

Maxwell is confident that games will not be taken away from Hampden in the event of no fans being allowed in.

He said: “I would think that would be very challenging.

“There is a huge amount of work going on at the stadium and obviously the closer you get to the tournament the less disruption UEFA would want so I would absolutely foresee the games still being at the stadium.”

Meanwhile, it was announced that thousands of supporters can watch Euro matches in Glasgow Green after a fan zone was provisionally approved.

From Tuesday, up to 6000 people per day can book free tickets for the outdoor space over the 31 days of the tournament beginning on June 11.

The Scottish Government has approved plans for the largely seated outdoor space “subject to the state of the pandemic nearer the time”.

Maxwell said: “That will be huge. The Tartan Army love to come and watch their team play and celebrate those occasions and I am sure they will be able to do that at the fan zone and there will be other things that pop up across the country when the games are being played and it will be great to see that engagement.”

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