20,000 ticketless Scotland fans to descend on London despite pleas for them to stay home for England's Euro 2020 match
UP to 20,000 Scotland ticketless fans are set to descend on London for Friday's Euro 2020 match with England.
Tartan Army supporters are planning to mass in Hyde Park before watching the crunch Group D clash in pubs and bars.
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But there is increasing concern about the lack of Covid-secure fan zones for the match with the Auld Enemy.
Traditional meeting point Trafalgar Square has been turned into a fanzone for key workers only.
Scotland have been allocated less than 3,000 tickets for the sellout 21,500 qualifier at Wembley.
But between 6,000 and 20,000 Scottish supporters are reportedly planning on making the trip south.
TARTAN ARMY MARCHES
All trains from Glasgow and Edinburgh to London on Friday morning are sold out, with a small number of spaces on today's services.
One Scotland fan tweeted: "Going to head to Hyde Park and see. We think that's where most Scotland fans will be. A sort of unofficial fanzone"
Another said: “Just put a big screen up in Hyde Park next Friday and keep us aw happy, doesn’t take much.”
And a third wrote: "Hyde Park is seemingly little Scotland for the day."
Friday's 8pm kick-off has sparked fears that fans will be drinking all day beforehand.
Scotland fans were urged not to travel without tickets or having arranged a safe place to watch the game.
The Met's Deputy commissioner Sir Stephen House said: "We are expecting a large number of fans from Scotland to come down for the England v Scotland match.
"Inevitably people will attend who don’t have tickets. We have significant extra resources on duty to deal with any disorder that may occur.
I would urge all fans to behave properly and to control their drinking…. To fans from Scotland, if they don’t have a ticket, they should not come
“I would urge all fans to behave properly and to control their drinking…. To fans from Scotland, if they don’t have a ticket, they should not come.”
But heavy rain is set to dampen the spirits of fans heading south to soak up the atmosphere.
There are yellow weather warnings in place for thunderstorms across the south east of England on Friday.
Sven Lister, of the Rosyth Tartan Army supporters club in Fife, told of his fears at the lack of planning for a Scots invasion.
He said: “I reckon there will be about 20,000 or so turning out. It just worries me that they have not done anything.
“There’s going to be groups wandering, possibly not getting to see the football, which would cause trouble.”
He called for a big screen to be set up in Hyde Park for fans without tickets for the oldest fixture in international football.
But London mayor Sadiq Khan has said there will be nowhere for fans to gather, in line with current Covid guidelines.
Mr Khan said:I am today urging all fans to only come to London if you have a ticket for the match or if you have arranged a safe place to watch it from, in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.
“I want to be completely clear that Scottish fans will not be able to access their traditional Trafalgar Square base as it will be used as a socially-distanced Fan Zone for key workers who are helping our city through the pandemic.
"Due to COVID regulations there are no alternative sites for fans to gather in large numbers in central London."
NO BIG SCREENS
And Royal Parks, which manages various London parks, said: “We strongly advise fans not to travel to Hyde Park.
“There is no plan for the use of Hyde Park as a live site for the Euros.
“There are no screens – or any other facilities – for fans to watch games.”
There will also be a Fan Zone at Glasgow Green for supporters staying in Scotland.
Scotland lost their first qualifier to the Czech Republic 2-0 on Monday, the day after England beat Croatia 1-0.
The teams last played competitively in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, with England winning 3-0 at Wembley and the teams drawing 2-2 at Hampden.
Scotland and England played each other in a friendly at the end of each season for decades.
But the traditional joust was scrapped after repeated crowd trouble at the clashes.
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