Hooligan fears for Scotland v England match

Scotland will take on England at Celtic Park. Picture: Robert Perry

Scotland will take on England at Celtic Park. Picture: Robert Perry

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AN anti-hooligan crack squad has uncovered a sinister plot to cause chaos ahead of Scotland’s clash with England this week.

Special football intelligence officers have confirmed known troublemakers are planning violence before the game on Tuesday night (18 Nov).

They issued the grim warning after it was revealed thousands of England fans had been asked to pick up their tickets in Glasgow city centre, sparking fears of disorder.

Police Scotland’s Chief Superintendent Andy Bates, who is heading the operation on match day, said: “Absolutely there’s intelligence that suggests there maybe planned disorder.

“I’m concerned enough to make sure there will be a very robust policing operation in place.

“Gathering intelligence is key and we’ve been working closely with our colleagues in the UK football policing unit to gather and share information.

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“We believe we know what is going to happen and are therefore ahead of the game.”

The match at Celtic Park will be the first time England has travelled to Glasgow since a Euro 2000 playoff in 1999.

It was marred by violence with more than 250 fans appearing in court charged with public order offences.

The Scottish Football Association gave the FA more than 7,000 tickets for this week’s fixture, but in excess of 2,000 have been returned.

England fans will have to collect their tickets from the Merchant City area of the city, while no special transport arrangements are in place for them to get to Celtic Park.

Chief Supt Bates added: “We are expecting pockets of disorder and we intend to disrupt those plans.

“Our intelligence would suggest there are troublemakers from both sides, and I’m in no doubt there will be those involved whose sole intension is to be disruptive.”

Fears for a potential independence referendum backlash between the fans were raised after England’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland in September.

Choruses of “F--- off Scotland, we’re voting yes” were sung during the game, which Roy Hodgson’s players won 2-0.

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