Scottish Greens say showing this weekend’s Celtic vs Rangers game on free to air tv could be an important preventative measure to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

THis would have the effect of encouraging fans to stay at home and watch the match, the party’s Health and Sport Spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP said.

At her daily briefing this lunchtime the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, warned those in the central belt – where hospitality venues are currently closed – to avoid travelling to pubs in England, or to other people’s homes, to watch the match. The Scottish Greens are now calling on The Scottish Government to engage in urgent discussions with the football authorities and Sky Sports to explore a solution that would allow everyone to watch the match on free to air tv.

Alison Johnstone MSP

Alison Johnstone MSP said:“Football is so important to so many people and I understand just how frustrating it is for fans at the moment who just want to watch their team play.

“Essential public health restrictions have meant that grounds have had to remain closed, and now that pubs in the central belt are closed only those who have Sky Sports at home will be able to watch this weekend’s game.

“The First Minister has raised concerns that people may go to one another’s homes or even travel to pubs in England to watch the game. This would risk increasing transmission of the virus just at the time when we’ve brought in additional measures to bring it under control.

“That’s why I’m calling on the Scottish Government to urgently engage with the football authorities, and Sky Sports, to establish whether it might be possible to broadcast Saturday’s Celtic vs Rangers game on free to air tv. I’m confident the overwhelming majority of people will continue to follow the rules as they have throughout this crisis, but broadcasting the game free to air would allow everyone to watch at home, reducing the risk of people heading out to watch the game and spreading the virus.”

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