Protester ties themselves to Hampden goalpost to delay Scotland-Israel qualifier

Scotland’s clash with Israel was delayed for just over 30 minutes after a member of the public breached Hampden security and chained themselves to a goalpost as pro-Palestine protests took place outside the stadium.

A decision to stage the Euro 2025 qualifier behind closed doors was taken following intelligence over planned disruptions in protest at Israel’s ongoing offensive on Gaza.

Police and protestor
Police speak to a protester wearing a ‘Red Card For Israel’ t-shirt (Jane Barlow/PA)

With hundreds gathered outside with Palestine flags, it emerged just before the scheduled kick-off time of 7.05pm that somebody had managed to access the arena and padlock themselves to a goalpost using a heavy-looking chain around their neck.

The protester, who was wearing a ‘Red Card For Israel’ T-shirt, was eventually removed and the situation brought under control by the authorities before the players emerged for a second warm-up and the game started at 7.36pm.

The protester is escorted away by police
The protester is escorted away by police (Jane Barlow/PA).

Campaigners and charities including Show Israel the Red Card and Scottish Friends of Palestine held a protest outside the stadium on Friday calling for an immediate ceasefire.

They also hit out at the Scottish Football Association’s decision to allow the game to go ahead, describing it as an attempt to “sportwash” Israel.

Demonstrators held small replica coffins and spread a banner which read “Ceasefire Now” on the ground outside Hampden.

Pro-Palestine campaigners staged a demonstration outside Hampden
Pro-Palestine campaigners staged a demonstration outside Hampden (Jane Barlow/PA)

The SFA said previously: “Due to updated intelligence and following extensive security consultations with all key parties, the Scottish FA regrets to confirm that the forthcoming qualifier between Scotland and Israel at Hampden Park on May 31 will now be played behind closed doors.

“The stadium operations team were alerted to the potential for planned disruptions to the match and as a consequence we have no option but to play the match without supporters in attendance.”

Scotland ran out 4-1 winners in the match. The two sides meet again behind closed doors in Budapest on Tuesday.