Scottish Daily Mail

MSPs urge SFA to revert to 3pm final


A HOLYROOD committee have called on the SFA to schedule next month’s Scottish Cup final at the traditiona­l time, warning the delayed kickoff sets a ‘dangerous precedent’ for sport in this country. Clare Haughey, convener of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, challenged Hampden bosses over what she said was a ‘regrettabl­e decision’ to stage the showpiece match at 5.30pm on Saturday, June 3, instead of its usual 3pm. The game between Celtic and Inverness Caledonian Thistle has been scheduled later to avoid a clash with the FA Cup final between Manchester City and Manchester United, which kicks off at 3pm at Wembley. Celtic and Inverness have expressed disappoint­ment at the decision, and Haughey has now raised the issue with SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell. In a letter sent on behalf of the committee, she said that changing the kick-off time had ‘caused considerab­le disruption to those travelling fans who had already made travel arrangemen­ts prior to it being announced’. She also said there were ‘safety implicatio­ns of a later kick-off time’, as well as concerns that the decision ‘sets a dangerous precedent for other major sporting events in Scotland’. Haughey said: ‘On this basis, I would urge the SFA to reconsider its decision and to reinstate the traditiona­l kick-off time of 3pm for this year’s Scottish Cup final.’ She called on Maxwell to set out the reasons for the SFA’s decision, and also asked if they had consulted Scottish Government ministers, transport providers and fan associatio­ns prior to making the change to ‘ensure any associated disruption to individual travel plans would be kept to an acceptable minimum’. The SNP MSP added that, if it was no longer possible to reinstate the original kick-off time, the SFA should ‘outline what further steps you will be taking to ensure the safety of all those attending the match’. She said the committee wants to know whether there will be ‘adequate transport provision to enable travelling fans to return home safely afterwards’. Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick, an Inverness fan, has already written to the SFA about the timing of the match, as has Drew Hendry, the SNP MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey.

 ?? ?? Big day out: Inverness beat Falkirk to reach this month’s Scottish Cup final
Big day out: Inverness beat Falkirk to reach this month’s Scottish Cup final

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom