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Rangers: Police break up crowd of fans after thousands ignore COVID warnings to celebrate Scottish title win

Written by on 16 May 2021

Police have broken up a large gathering of Rangers fans from the centre of Glasgow after thousands ignored warnings and descended on the city to celebrate their team’s title win.

Fans cheered and chanted in George Square for hours on Saturday as police patrolled the scene, with some officers confiscating alcohol and pouring it away.

Officers eventually cleared the group from the area just after 9pm, after the Scottish justice secretary, Humza Yousaf, condemned the gatherings as “selfish and irresponsible behaviour” which put lives at risk.

Police and Rangers fans outside the ground before the Scottish Premiership match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. Picture date: Saturday May 15, 2021.

Earlier, the team’s supporters gathered outside Ibrox, chanting as Steven Gerrard’s team arrived for their home game against Aberdeen, their last of the Scottish Premiership season.

Many lit red and blue flares and few were wearing masks.

Rangers defeated Aberdeen 4-0 – ensuring they ended they finished their campaign undefeated. They were then presented with the trophy, the club’s first in 10 years and 55th overall.

Police Scotland called on crowds to “disperse and take personal responsibility and use Greater Glasgow safely and respectfully”.

Scotland is easing its lockdown restrictions to Level 2 of its five-tier system on Monday.

But Glasgow – along with Moray – is set to remain in Level 3 amid concerns a new surge of COVID-19 cases is being driven by the Indian variant of the virus.

Rangers fans outside the ground during the Premier League match at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. Picture date: Saturday May 15, 2021. Image: Rangers fans gathered in their thousands outside the ground

The Scottish government previously criticised Rangers’ response after thousands of fans gathered outside Ibrox and in George Square on the weekend they clinched the title in early March.

On Friday night, scores of Rangers fans lighted red flares simultaneously along the Clyde close to the Clyde Arc, known as the “squinty bridge”.

It's Rangers first Scottish league title in 10 years Police and Rangers fans outside Ibrox before the match Image: Supporters ignored calls by government and police to stay away

Chief Superintendent Mark Sutherland, commander for Greater Glasgow division, said: “Under the current restrictions no-one should be gathering in numbers of more than six at the stadium or any other location.

“The sacrifices people have made have allowed for further easing of regulations, however we continue to ask people to take personal responsibility and to use Greater Glasgow safely and respectfully.”

Earlier this week, Mr Yousaf urged supporters not to gather.

He wrote on Twitter: “Understand what an important season it has been for @RangersFC but I am urging fans not to gather during the trophy presentation on Saturday.

The virus, he added, “has not gone away.”