Authorities warn against pyrotechnics at football matches

by Ryan Brown 

Scottish Fire and Rescue have reinforced the danger of pyrotechnics inside football stadiums.

Assistant Chief Officer Ross Haggart is the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Director of Prevention and Protection.

He said: “The abuse of these pyrotechnics in public venues is very irresponsible. 

“A flare can inflict life-threatening injuries as they burn at extremely high temperatures.

“Smoke grenades are dangerous as they can emit toxic substances which can cause respiratory difficulty.

“This has to be taken seriously and we’d urge communities to support our police partners in stamping out this reckless behaviour.”

This comes in the wake of Monday’s move by Celtic Football Club to ban supporters in a group known as the ‘Green Brigade’ housed in their safe-standing section for last night’s 3-1 victory over State Rennais after repeated use of fireworks during games.

Displays by the group in Celtic’s European counters against AIK Stockholm and their  2-0 win over CFR Cluj are other incidents to have caused tension with the Celtic hierarchy.

Cases involving illicit banners have also contributed to fines from UEFA, hence the strong action from the Glasgow giants.

An official statement from the club read: “Celtic has ultimate responsibility for the safety of all our supporters and it is a responsibility which we take very seriously.

“We need to tackle any behaviour which can compromise the safety of our supporters including the use of pyrotechnics, overcrowding and offensive chanting or banners.

“Following the latest UEFA disciplinary decision we can confirm that there will be a partial closure of the rail seating section at Celtic Park for the forthcoming match against Rennes.”

However the ‘Green brigade’, whilst accepting the sanctions, have hit back at the club over their timing, just three days before the match, but have also insisted that better communication can lead to safe use of pyrotechnics.

They said: “It would be naive to assume that it can simply be eradicated and instead, the mature, progressive approach would be for football clubs and authorities to properly engage with fans to promote safe use.”

All supporters with tickets in the banned section were offered a refund from Thursday’s game. 

A further UEFA investigation into pyrotechnics use by fans in Rome when Celtic faced S.S Lazio is ongoing and will be heard on December 12.

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