United Kingdom

FM will support football fans who ignore ‘ludicrous’ proposed guidelines for buses

The Scottish First Minister said he “absolutely” agreed with backbench MSP Stuart McMillan that the proposed changes – announced last week by the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain – should be “shown the red card”.

Mr McMillan raised the issue after a consultation was announced on changes to voluntary guidance, which would mean fans travelling on buses to games would not be allowed to stop at pubs unless a “substantial meal” was served.

The changes, which have attracted criticism from football clubs and bodies such as the Scottish Football Association (SFA), the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) and the Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL), would also require fans to arrive at a match between one and two hours before kick-off and leave within 30 minutes at the end.

Mr McMillan described the proposals as “draconian” as he asked the First Minister if they should “be shown the red card”.

Mr Yousaf said he had “no idea” why the changes had been put forward for fans in Scotland, as he said Scottish Government ministers had not been consulted.

Sports minister Maree Todd has now written to the Traffic Commissioners “to better understand where these ludicrous proposals have come from”, he told MSPs.

The First Minister added: “They are voluntary guidance therefore I would suspect they will be ignored and I would support that action.”

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Mr Yousaf said: “They have come forward without a single word of consultation with Scottish Government ministers, neither with the football authorities or indeed most importantly, most crucially I would suggest, with the thousands, if not millions of football fans who would be negatively impacted by these proposals.”

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