SPFL chiefs meet with Scottish Government and police at pyro summit

The Football Safety Officers Association is hosting the conference at Hampden on Tuesday.

SPFL chiefs meet with Scottish Government and police at pyro summit SNS Group

SPFL chiefs have met with Scottish Government officials and Police Scotland for a Hampden summit over the continued use of pyrotechnics in football stadiums on Tuesday.

Supporters have been continually warned of the dangers presented by devices such as smoke bombs, flares and fireworks but it hasn’t deterred many from bringing them to games.

The most recent high-profile incident happened in Dundee when flares were set off in the Rangers end at Dens Park causing a Premiership clash between the clubs to be delayed for around 18 minutes.

Players were told to leave the pitch after a smoke-alarm was activated and the game, on November 1, didn’t finish until 10.40pm.

Pyro: Rangers fans light up the Bob Shankly stand causing game to be delayed. Ross Parker via SNS Group

Despite further warnings after that event, fans of several clubs, including Motherwell and Aberdeen, have continued to use pyrotechnic displays in the stands.

Earlier in the season, Celtic were hit by a fine from UEFA after some of their supporters let off flares in their game against Feyenoord in Rotterdam.

The Football Safety Officers Association hosted the conference, which will be attended by SPFL chief operating officer Callum Beattie, at the national stadium in Glasgow on Tuesday to reiterate the dangers of using the devices.

Ahead of the meeting a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “No one should be put at risk of harm from the misuse of pyrotechnics.

“It is a criminal offence to take, or attempt to take, pyrotechnics, including fireworks, into football stadiums and the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Act 2022 provided Police Scotland with further measures to deter and prevent their use from June 2023.

“We welcome the stance that football authorities, clubs, many fans and fan groups, as well as front-line services, have taken to pyrotechnic misuse, speaking out against it and working together on joint messaging and awareness-raising, and we continue to work with partners on what more can be done.”

A joint statement from the Scottish FA and SPFL said: “Representatives of the Scottish Professional Football League and Scottish FA today attended a scheduled event hosted by Football Safety Officers Association Scotland.

“The meeting was an important opportunity to share information on the increased challenges football faces in tackling the use of pyrotechnics at matches.

“We heard first-hand the issues experienced by club safety officers and Police Scotland in dealing with pyrotechnics at games.

“The Scottish FA and the SPFL are committed to working with clubs to explore ways in which the matchday experience can be enhanced. However, the fact remains that the use of pyrotechnics at football matches is not only dangerous but illegal.

“The actions of a minority of supporters are having a disruptive and detrimental impact on the safety of the vast majority of supporters and potentially the players and officials on the field.

“We remain committed to working with all stakeholders, including the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, clubs and supporters’ organisations to address the matter.

“In the meantime, it has been very encouraging to see a number of our clubs take direct action in response to the use of pyrotechnics within their own stadia.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in