Humza Yousaf is assessing intelligence to see if next Sunday’s Glasgow Derby can go ahead as planned.
For intelligence he only has to look at video footage from Glasgow city centre on Sunday or take a look at the correspondence of Sandra White, MSP for the area.
Ok Police what are you doing about the anti social behaviour still going on in City Centre seriously Qs need to be asked and answers forthcoming. BTW would be good to get a reply back
— Sandra White (@SandraWhiteSNP) March 7, 2021
Scotland remains in Lockdown although from today four people can now meet up outdoors. Last Saturday thousands turned up at Ibrox where they were treated to Steven Gerrard hanging out of a Dressing Room window to seek acclaim. The following day the crowds at Murray Park were treated to similar experiences.
By late afternoon Police Scotland were accompany fans to George Square, two days later Ibrox chairman Douglas Park wrote to Nicola Sturgeon suggesting that street furniture should have been removed to facilitate an illegal gathering.
With that background it seems impossible that a football match can pass off peacefully two weeks later with no sign that emotions have been dampened down.
Speaking to BBC Scotland the Justice Secretary said:
There is only so much – in fairness to the clubs – they can do but I will ask them to do as much as they can.
I will then take an assessment, and as a government we will take an assessment from the intelligence we receive from Police Scotland, and if there is a serious question or likelihood of disorder or fans gathering then we would have to consider whether or not it’s wise for the match on 21 March to go ahead.
Postponing next Sunday’s match would create serious problems for the SPFL whose broadcasting deal with Sky Sports is centered around four Glasgow derbies per season. There is another Derby due at Ibrox and also a possible Scottish Cup tie between the two clubs before the end of May.
There are no SPFL Premiership fixtures in Glasgow this weekend, on Thursday Slavia Prague visit Ibrox in a Europa League tie.