SFA to crack down hard on flares at matches

SFA president Campbell Ogilvie. Picture: PA
SFA president Campbell Ogilvie. Picture: PA
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SFA chief Campbell Ogilvie has pledged to come down heavily on the use of flares by supporters, while Rangers manager Ally McCoist has also condemned the “needless damage” caused to Falkirk’s pitch at the weekend.

Flares were thrown on to the artificial pitch by away fans during Rangers’ 2-0 win at Falkirk and were also set off at another William Hill Scottish Cup fourth round tie between Lanarkshire rivals Motherwell and Albion Rovers at New Douglas Park.

Falkirk’s pitch was damaged by the flare, set off in the North Stand and thrown on to the pitch after the full-time whistle, at their tie against Rangers.

Rangers and Motherwell now face potential fines from the SFA and Ogilvie, the governing body’s president, is determined to see the growing trend dealt with firmly.

He said: “Flares have crept in over the last few years. Like missiles in the past, we have to come down heavily on it. We have to be vigilant and we work closely with the clubs on these things. If you compare us with some other countries, we have it under control, but we can’t have flares at games.

“Any incidents involving flares in our cup competition will see the clubs concerned written to by ourselves. We get feedback, then it will be taken to the next step, to decide what action will be taken. I’m not going to second guess how the compliance officer will look at it. The clubs in general, home and away, will have to answer questions. There’s no room for flares in football grounds.”

McCoist has also appealed to fans to stop bringing flares to football matches.

In a statement released after the match, Rangers said they were investigating the incident and supporting police with their enquiries. Asked yesterday if he had a message for supporters who take flares to matches, McCoist said: “Don’t do it please. Our fans have been absolutely fantastic, they have been wonderful in their support and we don’t want that to change. But needless damage to any surface, particularly a new surface that Falkirk have just brought in, doesn’t do the club any good at all.

“We would just ask them to behave. No matter what team you support or whatever game you go to, I don’t think it’s asking too much to go and watch it in a safe atmosphere.

“That is, without doubt, the most important thing. We have to do everything we can to stop