SECURITY measures will be substantially increased at Hampden on Saturday afternoon for the Scotland v England World Cup qualifier as a consequence of the recent terrorist atrocities in Manchester and London.
The Scottish Football Association had increased searches ahead of the Scottish Cup Final between Celtic and Aberdeen as this was the first major football match after the attack on the Manchester Arena.
Now the SFA have issued a statement outlining the new security measures that fans can expect this weekend.
“The safety of fans is of paramount importance to the Scottish FA and a range of measures will be implemented as part of an enhanced security operation,” an SFA spokesperson said.
“These increased security measures at Hampden Park will include bag and people searches, and may result in delays in entering the stadium.
“Fans should expect to be searched at the outer cordons at Aikenhead Road, Prospecthill Road, Mount Annan Drive, Somerville Drive and Letherby Drive, with additional bag searches at the turnstiles.
“To accommodate these increased measures, gates will now open at 3pm, half an hour earlier than originally planned. Fans are reminded that the match is sold out and are therefore encouraged to arrive early to ensure that they are in their seats for kick-off.”
Scotland fans will be directed to use trains to Mount Florida station before and after the game, while England supporters will use King’s Park with tickets for this crucial football match are available at Football Ticketpad as Scotland aim to beat England at Hampden for the first time since the mid 1980s.
Free buses are also being laid on for fans from Glasgow city centre to the stadium before and after the match.
Chief Superintendent John McBride is leading the operation for British Transport Police.
“Our policing operation will stretch the breadth of the nation and will involve a large number of officers,” he said.
“We want spectators to have a fun and enjoyable journey towards this match and will be on hand if they need assistance. Likewise, we will also be taking a zero-tolerance approach towards any individuals or groups who exhibit anti-social or criminal behaviour.
“There is no place for hooligan or intimidating behaviour and we will be taking firm action against those who are out to cause trouble.
“I would like to remind passengers travelling longer distances that there will be few trains departing after the final whistle. Therefore, I would urge them to plan ahead and make sure they have booked accommodation or alternative travel options.
“Passengers are of course the eyes and ears of the rail network and I would ask them to remain vigilant on their journey and report suspicious behaviour to us.”