Scotland

Bagpipes may get Wembley reprieve for England v Scotland friendly

Piper
Image caption Concerns were raised that bagpipes would not be allowed inside Wembley during the match

Requests for fans to be allowed bagpipes at Wembley for Scotland's forthcoming friendly against England will be considered, the Football Association has said.

Concerns were raised that the pipes would be banned under stadium rules prohibiting musical instruments.

But the FA has said it will listen to specific requests, and look to make provisions where possible.

In the past England fans have been allowed to take in drums and trumpets.

The "Auld Enemy" will meet on 14 August for a friendly to mark the Football Association's 150th anniversary.

The match will be the first time the national sides have played each other since November 1999.

Some reports at the weekend suggested the Tartan Army would not be permitted to take bagpipes into Wembley.

Under the official regulations for Wembley "unlicensed musical instruments: trumpets, drums and other devices capable of causing a disturbance or nuisance" must not be brought into the ground.

FA Spokesman Stuart Mawhinney said: "At this time we have yet to receive an official approach from the Scottish Football Association regarding details for their official members who will attend the fixture, though this is not unusual given that ticket details have only just been released.

"Both organisations are in regular dialogue regarding all operational matters.

"The FA would listen to any specific requests from the proper channels, and look to make provisions where possible."

Official channels

In a statement on the FA's website Mr Mawhinney also said Wembley regularly welcomed England supporters who play instruments and has worked with clubs and fan groups, on a case-by-case basis, to arrange entry for personalised items not permitted within the stadium ground regulations.

He added: "There is a process in place for every fixture and, with prior notice and agreement to the specific criteria, they are permitted entry and to play within the stadium in pre-agreed areas."

Image caption The last time the sides met was when Scotland won a Euro 2000 second leg qualifying play-off 1-0

The FA highlighted the fact that permission for bagpipes would have to be sought "through the official channels, in this case the Scottish FA".

The statement went on: "England and Scotland is the oldest international fixture in world football, and it is only fitting to stage the game this year.

"Celebrating 150 years of the FA and 140 years of the Scottish FA, we fully expect it to be a wonderful occasion and it is only right that supporters from both teams are able to share in the special night at Wembley."

The SFA has said it would be happy to put any official requests made by fans to the FA as it works with them to prepare for the August match.

SNP MSP Jim Eadie previously said he would challenge any ban on bagpipes.

He said: "This is a welcome relaxation and clarification from the English FA and I am pleased to see their flexible and welcoming approach towards the Tartan Army.

"I'm looking forward to Scotland's famous dark blue jerseys running out on the Wembley turf to the skirl of the pipes."

Speaking on the BBC's Good Morning Scotland radio programme, Hamish Husband from the Association of Tartan Army Supporters Clubs, said: "We have taken bagpipes to Wembley since 1928.

"These rules are not particularly just against bagpipes. This is the corporatisation of football."

He added: "The one thing they won't stop us taking in is optimism."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites