17 MPs oppose Rugby World Cup’s fan bagpipe ban

Rugby supporters will be banned from bringing in bagpipes into Rugby World Cup venues. Picture: Getty Images
Rugby supporters will be banned from bringing in bagpipes into Rugby World Cup venues. Picture: Getty Images
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SEVENTEEN MPs have registered their opposition to a bagpipe ban ordered by organisers of this year’s Rugby World Cup.

Bagpipes have been included in a list of items supporters are forbidden from bringing into venues, which also includes large flags, banners, oversized hats, and vuvuzelas.

Fifteen SNP MPs, one Plaid Cymru MP and a Democratic Unionist Party MP have signed the early day motion in Parliament slamming organisers for the move.

Tournament chiefs say the restricted items “might compromise or otherwise interfere with the enjoyment or comfort of any person at the venue.”

The motion, raised by the SNP’s Hannah Bardell, MP for Livingston, sets out to condemn the bagpipe ban, and goes on to state that the House of Commons “recognises that bagpipes are not dangerous; stresses the importance of cultural identity associated with bagpipes for Scots, in the UK and around the world; and acknowledges that bagpipes are often played in formal ceremonies.”

The former Scotland captain David Sole chimed in with criticism of the move, calling the ban “absolutely ridiculous”.

A spokesman for the tournament insisted that bagpipes were not banned from the Rugby World Cup altogether, and that the instrument would still feature in all of Scotland’s matches.

“Rugby World Cup recognises the significant role that bagpipes play in Scottish and world rugby heritage,” he said, “and, while individual instruments will not be permitted into venues to rightly give appropriate consideration to fan experience, bagpipes will play a prominent role at all Scotland matches, which is great for Scotland fans and great for the tournament.”