Wild scenes in London as Scotland’s Tartan Army descends for England game

Wild scenes in London as Scotland’s Tartan Army descends for England game

A raucous party atmosphere descended upon London around England’s big Euro 2020 clash with Scotland at Wembley Stadium - which ended with a goalless draw on Friday night.

Thousands of Scotland supporters made their way down to the capital for the game. And despite Covid restrictions and a limited number of tickets being available for the game at Wembley, Scotland fans turned up in their droves and took over parts of central London in the absence of an official fan zone.

During her Covid briefing on Friday, Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon urged her fellow Scots to be “respectful” and said “don’t behave in a way that’s going to make their Covid problem worse.” The Metropolitan Police had advised fans to only travel to London if they had a ticket for the game, and message seemingly roundly ignored.

Mayor Sadiq Kahn had also encouraged fans without tickets to try and book somewhere to watch the game as they won’t be able to “just rock up at a pub.”

Despite a distinct lack of Covid protocols being followed the Scottish fans certainly brought a party vibe to England on Friday - combined with a little bit of mischief.

Things got well underway on an EasyJet flight down to London on Thursday where a rendition of ‘Yes Sir, I Can Boogie,’ a song Scotland has adopted, broke out.

There were similar scenes in train stations across London on Thursday.

Once they’d settled into their surroundings fans took over Leicester Square and had fun by putting washing up liquid in the William Shakespeare fountain and taking a dip.

Police later said they were keeping an eye on it...

Meanwhile, huge crowds gathered in Hyde Park, where one man somehow lost all of his clothes and was reportedly later led away by police.

Even as the weather turned and got much wetter, the atmosphere didn’t dampen spirits.

One pub in Leicester Square had already run out of food by 10:40 am Friday morning but everyone was still in a good mood.

Michael McClean from Inverness told BBC Scotland: “It’s an amazing atmosphere so far. I think it seems that they’ve underestimated how many would travel down for the game. It feels like a normal football occasion. It doesn’t feel like there’s a pandemic on, which I don’t think is good in a way, but it’s definitely good to enjoy an occasion after a year-and-a-half.”

Emma Best of the London Assembly and the Conservative group’s spokeswoman on health estimated that 20,000 Scotland fans will be in London over the next few days adding that there are concerns given the spread of the Delta variant. “I think it is concerning and we do need to do what we can to control the Delta variant,” she said.

“Like it or not, Scottish fans - and we must say English fans as well from across the country - will be in London in their thousands and so we do need a plan to manage that as carefully as possible.”

Dispersal orders have been issued to give police extra powers to break up any groups deemed to be causing a disturbance.

The Conversation (0)