Scotland’s Israel match delayed as pro-Palestine protester chains himself to goalpost

A demonstrator wearing a t-shirt reading "Red card for Israel" chained himself to the goal post - Scotland's Israel match delayed as pro-Palestine protester chains self to goalpost
There were protests outside the stadium before the man was able to disrupt the match inside the arena - AFP/Andy Buchanan

The Euro 2025 qualifier between Scotland and Israel has been delayed after a protester broke into Hampden Park and chained themselves to a goalpost.

The women’s match was already being played behind closed doors due to security concerns and “planned disruptions” but hundreds of people had still gathered outside the stadium ahead of the 7.05pm kick-off.

The protesters were chanting “stop the game”, as well as carrying small coffins, waving Palestinian flags and displaying banners which called for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Police Scotland appeared to have the situation under control but a protester had managed to get inside Hampden Park and, shortly before kick-off, duly forced a delay to the match by chaining themselves to a goal.

The police had said before the match that “appropriate policing plans”, which included drones, would be in place to maintain public safety and minimise disruption.

There was a large protest outside Hampden Park before the planned kick-off
There was a large protest outside Hampden Park before the planned kick-off - Wattie Chueng

A large police presence, which included horses, were outside the largely locked stadium but were evidently unable to stop the protester from breaching their security measures.

The Scottish Football Association had said last week that it had “no option” but to bar supporters “following extensive security consultations with all key parties”. Public demonstrations against Israel’s military operation in Gaza have been happening across the UK in recent months.

Uefa has banned Israel from hosting football matches following the Hamas attack on Israel last October and then the Israeli’s government’s response. The Israel national team, as well as its club teams, have instead been playing fixtures at neutral venues in Hungary.

A Euro 2025 return qualifier against Scotland will be played in Budapest next week and will also be staged behind closed doors.

Fifa has been taking legal advice on a motion submitted by the Palestinian football association to suspend Israel from the sport. The Israeli FA labelled the move “cynical”.

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