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Football authorities criticise proposals that 'serve to demonise' travelling fans

Scottish football’s leading governing bodies have criticised “unnecessary and heavy-handed” new proposals for fans travelling to games.

The UK government’s consultation paper ‘Guidelines for taking passengers to sporting events in Scotland’ proposes restrictions on buses carrying supporters to matches.

The proposed new rules include buses not being allowed to stop within 10 miles of the stadium without police permission, no stops at a pub for a beer unless it’s sold with a “substantial meal”, and no drop-offs or pick-ups from unauthorised locations without permission from the police.

A joint statement from the Scottish FA, SPFL and Scottish Women’s Premier League said: “There's no evidence that this is a significant problem in Scottish football. We are concerned by the targeted nature of these proposals, which serve to demonise football fans and interfere unnecessarily in people’s lives.

“In Scotland, there are already appropriate powers held by PHV operators, Police Scotland and other partners to deal effectively with a very small number of incidents by a minority of fans.

“The consultation itself notes that the majority of football fans are law-abiding and do not cause any disturbances when travelling to or from games, yet these proposals would unfairly affect the vast majority of football fans who travel safely and respectfully to and from matches on a weekly basis.

“We don’t support these unnecessary and heavy-handed proposals and we will be making our views clear in the consultation.”