Glasgow & West Scotland

Old Firm match to be held on Hogmanay, SPFL confirms

Rangers and Celtic fans Image copyright Getty Images

The next Old Firm game will be held on Hogmanay, the Scottish Professional Football League has confirmed.

The clash between Rangers and Celtic is set to kick off at 12:15 on 31 December.

Police Scotland said the time and date was the "best option" and it was agreed after discussions between police, football authorities and broadcasters.

However, the decision was branded "baffling" by Scottish Conservative sport spokesman Brian Whittle.

He said: "Most people will find this surprising from a safety and sporting point of view.

"Everyone knows the challenges surrounding Old Firm matches and lumping that in with the most drink-fuelled night of the year is baffling."

Minimise impact

Police made one arrest at Celtic Park on Saturday in the first Old Firm league clash for four years.

But banners and effigies apparently displayed by Celtic fans cause controversy, as did damage to the stadium toilets in the away supporters section of the ground.

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins, Police Scotland's strategic lead on football, said: "The time and date of the next Old Firm fixture was decided after discussions between ourselves, football authorities and broadcasters.

"We believe this is the best option in terms of the needs of the interested parties and minimising the wider community impact.

"Planning has already started in terms of the policing of the fixture and again will involve a multi-agency partnership approach."

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