Government, police and league bosses to discuss Scottish football pyro problem

The league described events in the Premiership game as "unwelcome"

The Scottish Government will meet with league bosses and Police Scotland to discuss problems with pyrotechnics in Scottish Football.

It comes after, the Scottish Professional Football League condemned the widespread use of flares at Rangers’ Premiership match against Dundee describing it as “very concerning”.

The league governing body said it would be working with police to investigate the incident.

The match at Dens Park was halted after just two minutes of play after fans lit flares in the Bob Shankly end, with referee Kevin Clancy asked to stop the game on advice from the police.

The fire alarm was triggered and players had to leave the pitch, with play stopped for around 18 minutes while safety checks were made.

Rangers fans light up the Bob Shankly stand with pyro during a cinch Premiership match between Dundee FC and Rangers at The Scot Foam Stadium at Dens Park, on November 1.SNS Group

There will be a meeting this month with the Football Safety Officers Association, league bosses, Police Scotland and Scottish Government representatives, a Government spokesperson told STV News.

The SPFL has condemned the behaviour of fans who lit the pyrotechnics and will look to take further action.

A spokesperson said: “The extensive use of pyrotechnics at the match at Dens Park is very concerning and unwelcome.

“The disruption to the game is obviously extremely regrettable.

“We await the delegate report and will be liaising with Police Scotland on the incident.”

After the game, which the visitors won 5-0, Rangers manager Philippe Clement appealed to supporters to stop using fireworks.

“I hope that the club does not face sanctions,” he said. “You come here in the warm-up and the stand is full, everyone is chanting and supporting the players, giving a lot of energy.

“Those are very important things. We feel also the dynamic between fans and players is changing and it’s because of both sides.

“It was good the team started bright again, but I think everyone will understand that it’s really good to have all this support, all these songs and all this energy – I love it – but keep the fire outside of the stadium.”

Dundee added their voice to the criticism in a statement published on Thursday and also raised the issue of sectarian songs being sung.

It read: “Dundee Football Club are investigating and working with the relevant authorities after a series of unacceptable actions in the stands at last night’s match at The Scot Foam Stadium at Dens Park against Rangers.

“Despite robust practice by all clubs in the SPFL and the SFA at Hampden, flares, offensive banners and singing of sectarian songs continue to be a problem all across our game in Scottish Football.

“As we are working with the authorities we are unable to comment on the situation at this time. The club will comment further once the ongoing investigation has taken place and concluded.”

Dundee boss Tony Docherty thought the game may have to be abandoned.

“It was a bizarre night and at one stage I thought the game wasn’t going to go ahead,” he said.

“I was trying to keep the boys focused.

“Then we start the game and because of the pyros we get brought in again. There’s a debate on whether there’s a place for that but the game was almost abandoned.

“The police took control and I didn’t think we were going to go back out again. That affects focus. When it’s almost causing matches to be abandoned I think we need to address it.”

SPFL rules prohibit “flares, fireworks or any devices capable of emitting smoke” at games for safety reasons.

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