First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has congratulated Rangers on their title victory but says celebrating fans must stop congregating outside Ibrox and go home as they are ‘risking lives’.
Celtic’s goalless draw with Dundee United on Sunday means Rangers have an unassailable lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership and have finally ended their decade-long wait to get their hands back on the trophy.
As was the case on Saturday after Rangers saw off St Mirren 3-0, fans once again flocked to Glasgow’s George Square and Ibrox to revel in the title win.
But the scenes are a clear breach of Scotland’s lockdown rules, with police warning fans not to take to the streets to celebrate, and now Sturgeon has also called on supporters to take their partying back in doors to their homes.
‘I congratulate Rangers on the title win and recognise what a moment this is for fans,’ wrote the First Minister of Scotland on Twitter as more and more fans poured onto the streets.
‘But gathering in crowds just now risks lives and could delay exit from lockdown for everyone else.
‘If those gathering care at all about the safety of others and the country, they will go home.’
Chief Superintendent Mark Sutherland, Divisional Commander for Greater Glasgow Division, also issued a statement, saying: ‘We are aware of proposed gatherings in both George Square and outside Ibrox stadium on Sunday March 7.
‘In line with current Scottish Government coronavirus guidelines, all gatherings are currently prohibited and we would urge members of the public to comply with these restrictions.
‘An appropriate policing response is in place and officers are already using the approach of engaging, explaining and encouraging compliance with the restrictions.
‘Our response will be measured and appropriate. We understand fans want to celebrate but they must do so safely and lawfully. We continue to ask everyone to do the right thing to stop the spread of the virus.’
Despite the pleas from authorities, thousands of fans continued to celebrate outside Ibrox while Rangers’ players and staff gathered at the club’s training ground to have a party of their own.