The Scottish FA have announced the number of fans the Government have approved for the upcoming Scottish Cup final – and the 600 fans allowed inside Hampden is a mockery of fans with more than 12,000 due to arrive at the national stadium weeks later for Euro 2020.
The SFA confirmed that 300 fans of both Hibs and St. Johnstone will be at Hampden after UEFA granted dispensation for 2000 fans to be given access.
The Scottish Government have however rejected that number on the basis of social distancing, reducing it to 600 in the 52,000 seater stadium.
In a brief statement on their website, the Scottish FA confirmed the meagre numbers that would be allowed to attend, saying: “Following dispensation from UEFA to allow a restricted number of supporters to attend the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park on Saturday May 22, the Scottish FA approached the Scottish Government for 2000 fans to be accommodated using the approved UEFA EURO 2020 stadium seating template.
“The Scottish Government has today confirmed that a two metre physical distancing configuration must be used, not the 1.5m configuration that will be in operation for UEFA EURO 2020. At two metre physical distancing, the number of spectators able to be hosted in the approved areas of the stadium reduces to 600 in total – 300 per club.
“We have notified both finalists, Hibernian and St Johnstone, and while the number is less than anticipated we look forward to a limited number of fans attending the cup final. ”
One journalist poured scorn on the Scottish Government’s position, saying that only hours earlier they had insisted the decision was up to Glasgow City Council, saying on Twitter: “That’s funny. At 12pm today the government told the Perthshire Advertiser it was up to Glasgow City Council to decide. And GCC told us no decision had been made and wouldn’t today.”
Beyond asking what the point is in letting in so few fans, with 20 times the number expected for the Euro 2020 games being hosted at Hampden it just feels like a slap in the face for football supporters in Scotland.
Quite how Hampden can be safe to hold so many fans just weeks after the Scottish Cup final is baffling and while someone, somewhere may have a legitimate argument for it, they haven’t made themselves known yet.
With clubs looking to get fans back into grounds sooner rather than later – and Scotland appearing to be opening back up again as restriction ease – the cap of 600 fans at Hampden is the latest in a long line of shambolic decisions surrounding the national game.