Police consult SFA on of lifting the booze ban for fans at Hampden

McLeish Hampden Park

McEwan's beer bottleBy Bill Heaney

Talks have taken place that could lead to the lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol at Scottish football grounds, BBC Scotland has learned.

The Scottish FA, Police Scotland and Scottish government officials have met to explore the idea of using the Euro 2020 matches at Hampden as a pilot.

As it stands, Glasgow would be the only one of 12 host cities where fans could not buy alcohol in the stadium.

It is understood some bodies involved are open to the idea of ending the ban. Police Scotland said it would be prepared to discuss changes.

Higgins BernardBut Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins , pictured right, said it needed widespread public consultation to prove there was an appetite for it.

The ban was initially imposed following a riot at the 1980 Scottish Cup final between Rangers and Celtic.

It means no alcohol can be served in football stadiums, although there is an exemption for corporate hospitality areas. Any change in Scotland would require government legislation.

Why are there plans for change now?  The Euro 2020 championships could be the catalyst for change.

European football governing body Uefa has decided to relax its own rules on the sale of alcohol during its competitions.

This means the 12 cities across Europe that will stage matches can now sell alcohol – but only if local laws allow it.

Hampden Stadium in Glasgow will stage three group stage games and one last-16 match.

Old joke: One fan ducking as a beer bottle flies over his head at an Old Firm game is told by his pal: “Don’t feckin worry about it. They won’t hit you unless your name’s on them.”  Fan who ducked and continues to duck as more bottles fly in their direction: “It’s alright for you mate, but my name’s McEwan!”

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