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Two-thirds of Scottish football fans want an end to controversial modern craze



IF you watch any continental football this weekend, there’s a high chance you’ll see it take centre stage at some point.

And no, it’s not VAR


A flare thrown onto the pitch by a Celtic fan during a game against MotherwellCredit: Kenny Ramsay
Rangers fans with pyro during their match against Hibs


Rangers fans with pyro during their match against HibsCredit: Getty

Pyrotechnics play a big part in creating a unique atmosphere at many stadiums across the world.

If you turn on your TV to catch a game in France, Germany or Italy over the next few days, smoke will fill your screen.

Fans in those countries and perhaps even more so in Eastern Europe have been using pyro as part of their matchday experience for decades.

The flare phenomenon has grown in recent years but in Scotland the craze is relatively new.

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But a survey by the Scottish Football Supporters’ Association (SFSA) has revealed that two-thirds of punters want to see it BANNED.

The SFSA is calling on the government, the SFA and the SPFL to clamp down heavily on the use of pyrotechnics in Scottish football.

A number of serious incidents have occurred at stadiums this season, most notably when a 10-year-old Dundee fan was scarred during a recent match against St Johnstone.

The SFA is now warning that it won’t be long before someone is killed if the new law around pyrotechnics is not enforced properly.

A a statement from the fans’ group said: “It is only by luck that no-one has been even more seriously hurt or indeed lost their life,”

“Those old enough to remember the Bradford disaster (in 1985) will recall that it was caused by a lit cigarette.

Scottish Premiership side’s ultras defy club bosses and authorities’ pyro crackdown with fresh major display at away match

“Millions of cigarettes had been smoked up to that point in football grounds, but it only took one to kill 56 and injure a further 265.

“Proponents of pyros will tell us that modern grounds are made of concrete and won’t burn, but human beings burn easily at low temperatures (just above 44C for the skin to start to burn) – as do their clothes and, moreover, there are many old stands in Scotland that are still made of wood, while plastic burns at a temperature far less than that of the so-called safe (500C) pyros.”

The SFSA claims 65 percent of supporters believe the use of pyrotechnics at matches detracts from the overall spectator experience.

“In our view, the case against pyros is overwhelming.

“While we acknowledge that a minority of (mainly young, almost exclusively male) fans find excitement in their use, the dangers are simply not worth the risk.

“Consequently, it is incumbent on the SFA, the SPFL and all the clubs to enforce the law in the same way they do for cigarette smoking, racist or other discriminatory remarks.

“If they don’t then there is a grim inevitability that one day in the future someone will die as a result of illegal pyrotechnics at a football match.”

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