Philippe Clement tells Rangers fans to leave 'dangerous' pyrotechnics at home as Hampden bosses issue fresh warning

Rangers manager Philippe Clement has pleaded with fans to leave the "dangerous" pyrotechnics at home as Hampden bosses prepare to beef up security at this weekend’s Viaplay Cup semi-finals.
Rangers fans light up the Bob Shankly Stand with pyro during the match against Dundee at Dens Park.  (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)Rangers fans light up the Bob Shankly Stand with pyro during the match against Dundee at Dens Park.  (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Rangers fans light up the Bob Shankly Stand with pyro during the match against Dundee at Dens Park. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

The issue has been thrust into the spotlight after the match between Dundee and Rangers at Dens Park on Wednesday night was delayed when Gers fans set off dozens of flares in the away stand, triggering smoke alarms and forcing the match to be halted for 18 minutes.

The Scottish Professional Football League is liaising with police over the “very concerning” display while a special summit on the pyro issue called by the Football Safety Officers' Association and involving football, police and government officials is planned for later this month.

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The SPFL and Scottish FA also released a joint statement on Friday warning fans not to take flares into Hampden this weekend with Hibs and Aberdeen due to meet on Saturday, before Hearts take on Rangers on Sunday for a place in the December 17 final.

It read: “Ahead of this weekend’s Viaplay Cup semi-finals at Hampden Park, the Scottish FA and Scottish Professional Football League call on supporters to enjoy the showpiece occasions in a safe and responsible manner.

"Given the increased focus on the use of pyrotechnics, we appeal to fans of all four participating clubs to enjoy the matchday experience at the National Stadium but to do so in a manner that does not endanger the safety of their fellow supporters, or that has the potential to disrupt the matches themselves.

“The use of pyrotechnics is illegal. That message has been reiterated in the strongest possible terms by the police and football safety authorities, and reinforced by the SPFL and Scottish FA, during operational meetings with the participating clubs this week.

“The safety, security and enjoyment of tens of thousands of fans who will fill the National Stadium this weekend is paramount and there will be a range of steps put in place to help identify anyone who transgresses, including additional security measures and CCTV surveillance.

“We ask for your help in ensuring the weekend action is memorable for the excitement and entertainment generated on the field and not for any unwanted behaviour off it.”

Clement, who spoke out against the pyro display following his side’s 5-0 win in midweek, repeated his stance on Friday as he urged Rangers fans to heed the warnings and avoid creating a similar scene at the national stadium.

“I was clear what I said after the game but I will repeat it a last time," he said. “I loved when we came outside for the warm-up in Dundee, you see a lot of Rangers supporters, a lot of atmosphere, songs, chants, support for the team.

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“It gives the team energy. The pyro thing we don’t need. It doesn’t give something extra. It is dangerous. So if they give all the other things I will be a very satisfied manager.

“It is good that there is rules because it is such a dangerous thing. I have seen it a lot in the past but it is good that there are strict rules because we need to avoid danger for people.”



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