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We Need To Keep Flares Out Of Scottish Grounds

Date: 27th September 2021

I know certain people within the football community love flares. They see them as adding to a game’s atmosphere. 

In truth they’re a hazard and we really shouldn’t be encouraging this behaviour within our grounds and it’s time that we made it a bigger issue. 

Last week, Dundee forward Leigh Griffiths was rightly slaughtered for booting a flare back into a stand full of fans. It was an extremely reckless and stupid act and the player will now face possible punishment from various authorities due to his actions. 

But we also shouldn’t forget that the flare should never have been inside Dens Park in the first place. They are banned from our grounds. 

A lot of these flares are purchased without the fans knowing much about them. These items are designed to burn at extremely high temperatures QUICKLY and quite a few seized by the police at football grounds are marine flares which can’t be extinguished by water or sand! 

The smoke canisters that come into Scotland will do so without proper testing and that is once again extremely dangerous to those using them or those supporters that are standing around the perpetrators. We don’t know what the long term health issues that might develop amongst football fans due to inhaling these smoke devices on a regular basis. 

If you look around Scotland today, you’ll see a number of people not wearing masks inside places like shopping centres. That’s because they are exempt due to having things like asthma and COPD. The flare users won’t ask about other fans health issues and again will just risk causing further damage to those that have genuine illnesses. 

These flares and smoke bombs can also damage seats and even pitches. After finally getting money through turnstiles again, I really don’t think most football clubs can afford to pay for such damages to their infrastructure. 

In Glasgow earlier this year, we saw a graphic video of a Rangers fan holding a smoke grenade when it suddenly went off in his hand! It was then reported that he turned up in hospital ‘missing half his hand’.  

Whilst this problem plagues our terraces our clubs and The SFA should probably refrain from using pyrotechnics as that will just encourage supporters that their use is ok. 

It isn’t ok!

We can’t trust random fans to use these potentially dangerous devices inside a stadium that’s full of people, most of whom just want to watch their team play football! 

Two years ago I spoke to Superintendent John McBride about various footballing police matters and the issues with flares really stood out to me. You can view that interview below: 

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