BDS activists protest as Scotland knock Israel out of Euro 2020 on penalties
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BDS activists protest as Scotland knock Israel out of Euro 2020 on penalties

Scotland beat Israel in a dramatic Euro 2020 play-off semi-final penalty shoot-out after 120 goalless minutes in which the home side failed to register a single shot on target.

Anti-Israel demonstrators outside Hampden Park, protesting against Israel's presence in the Euro 2020 qualifier match against Scotland (Credit: The_Shadowlight on Twitter.)
Anti-Israel demonstrators outside Hampden Park, protesting against Israel's presence in the Euro 2020 qualifier match against Scotland (Credit: The_Shadowlight on Twitter.)

A small group of anti-Zionist demonstrators protested as Scotland beat Israel in a dramatic Euro 2020 play-off semi-final penalty shoot-out at Hampden Park on Thursday night.

Despite police urging activists to find “alternative ways to protest rather than attending mass gatherings” in wake of new Covid regulations, a handful of people attended outside the stadium, waving Palestinian flags.

During the protest, at which no arrests were made, a video emerged on Twitter showing one speaker saying: “If fans were allowed in tonight I wouldn’t go. I would boycott it, because I wouldn’t do anything that gives legitimacy to the Israeli presence in this city.”

“I hope Scotland wins, and not just because I want Scotland to win, I also want Israel to lose.”

Before the demonstration, the Scotland Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Mick Napier told Jewish News he had “been liaising with Police Scotland for the protest” and the group “reassured them as to the steps we are taking” to make it Covid-secure. “We’ll be behaving very responsibly and I think Police Scotland were reassured by that”.

Superintendent Stevie Dolan said:  “Officers were in attendance at the National Stadium, Glasgow, around 5pm on Thursday, 8 October, 2020, in relation to a planned protest relating to the match between Scotland and Israel. Following a demonstration the protesters dispersed. There were no arrests made.”

Inside the ground, after 120 goalless minutes, John McGinn scored the first spot kick for the home side before the Derby County goalkeeper gave the Scots the advantage by saving an attempt from Eran Zahavi.

Israel’s Manor Solomon kicks the ball towards Scotland’s Kenneth McClean during the UEFA Euro 2020 Play-Off semi final match at Hampden Park, Glasgow. (PA Wire/PA Images)

Callum McGregor, Scott McTominay and Lawrence Shankland all scored as did Nir Bitton, Shon Weismann and Abu Fani leaving substitute Kenny McLean, on for Stephen O’Donnell, to slot his penalty in for a 5-3 win.

Scotland travel to take on Serbia in the final on November 12 where they will look to get through to a finals of a major tournament for the first time since the 1998 World Cup finals in France.

Clarke noted the chance to end Scotland’s dismal qualification record over the last two decades and more.

He said: “Yes, it’s, it’s a big chance. We spoke about, hopefully making a small piece of history for the national team.

Israel players line up for the national anthem before the UEFA Euro 2020 Play-Off semi final match at Hampden Park, Glasgow. (PA Wire/PA Images)

“We still have that in front of us. So that was the objective was to make sure that we were in the final next month. And we’ve achieved that.

“I’m really pleased for the players, 120 minutes in a tense, nervy affair and then they had to show a lot of character towards the end to get the win out of the penalty shoot-out.

“And thankfully the little bit of work we did on penalties during the week paid off.”

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