Police urge protestors to stay away from Scotland’s Euro play-off against Israel
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Police urge protestors to stay away from Scotland’s Euro play-off against Israel

Authorities call on activists to 'find alternative ways' of demonstrating as coronavirus cases spike in Scotland

Protesters wave Palestinian flags outside the ground before the UEFA Nations League Group F match at Hampden Park, Glasgow in September. (PA Wire/Andrew Milligan)
Protesters wave Palestinian flags outside the ground before the UEFA Nations League Group F match at Hampden Park, Glasgow in September. (PA Wire/Andrew Milligan)

Police have urged pro-Palestine activists and counter-protestors not to turn up at tonight’s fixture between Scotland and Israel.

The plea from authorities comes as the two sides face-off in a Euro 2020 play-off semi-final at Hampden Park, Glasgow.

When the two sides met in September for a Nations League fixture at the same ground, demonstrations took place outside.  But with new coronavirus measures being implemented on Friday, Police Scotland Superintendent Stevie Dolan warned against the planned protest.

“We are aware of this proposed demonstration, however our firm advice remains that people should find alternative ways to protest rather than attending mass gatherings, for example through digital means”, he said.

“We understand people want to make their voices heard, but they must do so lawfully and peacefully, and we will police this event proportionately and appropriately.”

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Mick Napier told Jewish News the protest was going ahead. He said: “I have been liaising with Police Scotland for the protest this afternoon, this evening. I think we have reassured them as to the steps we are taking, with social distancing, masks and gel available, and keeping lists for follow up, for track and trace, in the event of any unforeseeable difficulty.”

We’ll be behaving very responsibly and I think Police Scotland were reassured by that”.

This comes after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a “short, sharp” package to stem the flow of Covid-19 amid a spike in cases, including the closure of pubs and restaurants.

Israel, who drew 1-1 against Scotland last month, have suffered coronavirus-related woes and are without Taleb Tawatha, Loai Taha, Yonatan Cohen, Avi Rikan, Dan Glazer and Dor Peretz.

Scotland’s preparations were rocked on Wednesday when it emerged that midfielder Stuart Armstrong returned a positive Covid-19 test forcing Kieran Tierney and Ryan Christie to also self-isolate.

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