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Protester chains himself to goalpost delaying Scotland-Israel women's match

Delay: A demonstrator wearing a T-shirt with the slogan 'Red card for Israel' chained himself to a goalpost prior to the UEFA Women's Euro 2025 qualifier between Scotland and Israel in Glasgow (ANDY BUCHANAN)
Delay: A demonstrator wearing a T-shirt with the slogan 'Red card for Israel' chained himself to a goalpost prior to the UEFA Women's Euro 2025 qualifier between Scotland and Israel in Glasgow (ANDY BUCHANAN)

Kick-off in Scotland's Women's Euro 2025 qualifier with Israel in Glasgow on Friday was delayed for over half an hour after a demonstrator avoided security at Hampden Park and chained himself to a goalpost.

Both Friday's fixture in Glasgow and the 'return' match in Hungary on June 4 are meant to be taking place behind closed doors, without any spectators.

That decision was taken against the backdrop of the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict.

But on Friday, as pro-Palestinian protests took place outside Scotland's national stadium, it emerged just before the scheduled 1805 GMT kickoff that somebody had managed to access the arena and attach themselves to one of Hampden's goalposts with a heavy-looking chain around their neck.

The protester, wearing a 'Red Card For Israel' T-shirt, was eventually removed before the teams emerged for a second warm-up, with the game eventually kicking-off at 1836 GMT.

Campaign groups, including Scottish Friends of Palestine protested outside the stadium as they criticised the Scottish Football Association's decision to allow the game to go ahead, saying it constituted an attempt to "sportswash" Israel.

The SFA had said previously: "Due to updated intelligence and following extensive security consultations with all key parties, the Scottish FA regrets to confirm that the forthcoming qualifier between Scotland and Israel at Hampden Park on May 31 will now be played behind closed doors.

"The stadium operations team were alerted to the potential for planned disruptions to the match and as a consequence we have no option but to play the match without supporters in attendance."

The Gaza war was sparked by Hamas's October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,189 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Militants also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the army says are dead.

Israel's retaliatory offensive has killed at least 36,284 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.

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