MATCH ticket. Check. Scarf. Check. Vaccination certificate. Oh yeah, that.

Access to a Scottish football stadium has never been so complicated and never so unnecessary. Welcome in the future.

Our national game has long been accused of reluctance to change, but the sport has moved with the times and the situation during the Covid pandemic.

Now it will feel the brunt of the latest rules and regulations that were passed at Holyrood and need to be passed at Hampden and beyond.

Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, this week branded the vaccination record program as “botched” and called for the program to be abolished entirely.

It is difficult to see what the vaccination certificate is for and what purpose it fulfills. Aside from the fact that the government can be seen doing something, everything, of course.

If you are among the thousands, surely it makes no difference to you whether or not the man, woman, or child next to you is fully vaccinated? If they have Covid, they can still pass it on to you regardless of whether they received two doses or no.

Negative tests bring more certainty, but fans do not need to present these papers. What difference does this QR code make?

As of 5 a.m. on Friday morning, people over 18 must prove they have both had vaccinations of a Covid vaccine before they are allowed to enter certain venues and events. This is where Scottish football is hit hardest.

Clubs will be required to conduct a “reasonable” number of fan tests to comply with the law, but there must be a risk of the entire program becoming a ticking exercise as the frontline staff deal with the issues Need to become. How is this information about the verified numbers verified?

To add to the confusion, Nicola Sturgeon announced Tuesday that companies would be given a two-week “grace period” to “test, adjust, and build trust the practical arrangements they need to make to conform to the scheme.” ‘.

But Rangers and Hearts – both of which will be affected on the first weekend of operations – confirmed Wednesday that all backers will need to be fully vaccinated if they take on Hibernian and Motherwell, respectively, that weekend.

The Rangers said their Premier League clash was a “test event” and both clubs were trying to distance themselves from the legislation, stressing that it was a government decision, not a football decision.

With the possibility that the whole process could quickly turn into a farce, it is no surprise that the fingers of guilt are prepared for some potential clues.

It should not be left to the clubs or their employees to ask fans about their state of health or to have to turn them away from the goal if they do not meet the requirements.

When fans get knocked back from one goal, do they just move on to another and take their risk? Or do disputes arise when queues form and action is missed while paperwork is being assessed at the turnstiles?

At many stages of the worst of the pandemic, there have been scenarios that simply do not mix up when compared to other cases, and it is difficult to fathom what the point of all of this is.

Clubs should have been used more as a force for good than before, and the messages from them could have encouraged supporters to take up the vaccine. Instead, like in nightclubs, the game is used to almost make people feel guilty or maybe even blackmail them into accepting a dose.

This weekend, clubs will have to screen thousands of fans before taking their seats, but can then put together a team that may not have the necessary documentation themselves.

The Premier League has announced that 13 of the 20 teams have squads in which fewer than 50 percent of the players are fully vaccinated. It would be fascinating to know the numbers for the SPFL.

This should be the priority for the clubs, and Hampden and Holyrood could have worked together in this regard to promote the vaccine’s uptake among the general public.

Instead, our clubs have to implement plans drawn up without their consent again. Here, too, football fans are disproportionately attacked and influenced.


AFTER a season that was played with no atmosphere and no spectators, the return of the fans was a reminder of their importance to our game.

The Old Firm should keep this in mind as it continues to shut out fans of Ibrox and Parkhead and forcing visiting clubs to make alternative arrangements for their supporters.

Motherwell allowed spectators at Fir Park to watch their 1-1 draw with Rangers earlier this month, while Hibernian will open Easter Road while Jack Ross takes his side to the top of the Premiership by beating the champions this weekend want to lead.

The Covid “red zone” regulation has forced clubs to move season ticket holders, and in the case of the Old Firm, the only seats in the house are the traditional away areas.

It’s a sad state of affairs, and one that could become a tit-for-tat case. The Old Firm knows how important their traveling audience is financially to their Premiership rivals, however, and it would be a big call for a board to sanction retaliation and lock out Rangers and Celtic fans.

Hearts and Motherwell took their case to the SPFL. Until the red zones and social distancing are removed, it’s hard to come up with a solution that works for all parties.

Games do not have the same feeling of occasion or spectacle without away fans, and no support should be denied the chance to see their team in action.

Sooner or later, common sense has to prevail and all suitors – regardless of the scarf color – are allowed to sit down again.