Scotland fans descend on London ahead of crunch Euros clash at Wembley

·4-min read

Watch: Scotland fans arrive in London ahead of match against England

Scotland fans have descended on London in their thousands ahead of their country's crucial Euro 2020 match against England at Wembley on Friday evening.

An estimated 20,000 Scottish fans have made the trip down south despite coronavirus restrictions and an allocation for visiting supporters inside the ground of just 2,600 seats.

Thousands of fans packed on to trains from Glasgow on Thursday using rail tickets that were booked when Scotland were originally given 18,000 seats at Wembley before the pandemic.

And on Friday, more Scotland fans left Edinburgh's Waverley station to make it down to London in time for the game.

Scotland fans at Edinburgh Waverley railway station as they prepare to travel to London ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium. Issue date: Friday June 18, 2021. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
Scotland fans at Edinburgh Waverley railway station on their way to London for the match against England. (PA Images via Getty Images)
Scotland fans have their picture taken with and LNER staff member at Edinburgh Waverley railway station as they prepare to travel to London ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium. Issue date: Friday June 18, 2021. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
Scotland fans have their picture taken by a member of rail staff at Edinburgh Waverley station. (PA Images via Getty Images)
Scotland fans at Edinburgh Waverley railway station as they prepare to travel to London ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium. Issue date: Friday June 18, 2021. (Photo by Jane Barlow/PA Images via Getty Images)
Scotland fans at Edinburgh Waverley railway station on Friday as they prepare to travel to London. (PA Images via Getty Images)

On Friday, the Metropolitan Police's football unit tweeted that it will be "incredibly busy across London today" ahead of the match.

It asks people to be "vigilant" and to "stay safe".

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 17: Scotland fans singing outside King's Cross Station on June 17, 2021 in London, England. Officials in Scotland and London, where the match will be hosted at Wembley Stadium, have discouraged Scottish fans without tickets to the game of coming south, due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images)
Scotland fans singing outside King's Cross Station on Thursday ahead of their team's clash with England at Wembley in Euro 2020. (Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 17: Scotland fans arrive at King's Cross Station on June 17, 2021 in London, England. Officials in Scotland and London, where the match will be hosted at Wembley Stadium, have discouraged Scottish fans without tickets to the game of coming south, due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images)
Scotland fans arrive at King's Cross Station in London on Thursday. (Getty Images)
Football fans in Leicester Square, London ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 Group D match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium. Picture date: Thursday June 17, 2021.
A Scotland fan in a fountain at Leicester Square, London. (PA)
 A Scotland supporter speaks with an England supporter before the match.
Football fans supporting Scotland arrived in London today prior to the UEFA football match between England and Scotland at Wembley tomorrow. Supporters are seen in various locations in London and most of them are heavily drunk. (Photo by Hesther Ng / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A Scotland supporter speaks with an England supporter before the match. (PA)
 Scotland Football fans are seen celebrating before the match.
Football fans supporting Scotland arrived in London today prior to the UEFA football match between England and Scotland at Wembley tomorrow. Supporters are seen in various locations in London and most of them are heavily drunk. (Photo by Hesther Ng / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Scotland Football fans are seen celebrating before the match. (PA)

The highly-anticipated clash between the old rivals will kick off to a crowd of more than 20,000 fans.

The Tartan Army spent Thursday enjoying raucous celebrations in London, singing and playing in fountains at Leicester Square.

Watch: Up to 20,000 Scottish fans descend on London

The Metropolitan Police has issued a 48-hour dispersal order in central London, which gives officers the power to remove “anti-social” fans.

The force and London mayor Sadiq Khan had told fans without tickets for the match not to travel.

All 15 train services from Glasgow to London on Friday have been sold out.

Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor told LBC radio: “We’re asking people to work with us.

“We know people want to come and enjoy it, but all the events in London are ticketed only and, with the current COVID restrictions, spaces in pubs and bars will be limited.

“So if people don’t have tickets, we would ask them not to come to London.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 17: Scotland fans chanting outside King's Cross Station on June 17, 2021 in London, England. Officials in Scotland and London, where the match will be hosted at Wembley Stadium, have discouraged Scottish fans without tickets to the game of coming south, due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images)
Scotland fans chanting outside King's Cross Station on Thursday. (Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 17: A Scotland fan lets of a flare outside King's Cross Station on June 17, 2021 in London, England. Officials in Scotland and London, where the match will be hosted at Wembley Stadium, have discouraged Scottish fans without tickets to the game of coming south, due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images)
A Scotland fan lets of a flare outside King's Cross Station. (Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 17: A Scotland fans wears a pair of sunglasses with the flag of Scotland outside King's Cross Station on June 17, 2021 in London, England. Officials in Scotland and London, where the match will be hosted at Wembley Stadium, have discouraged Scottish fans without tickets to the game of coming south, due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images)
Scottish fans outside King's Cross Station on Thursday. (Getty Images)

Taylor said events with large crowds, often where alcohol is consumed, create “policing challenges” but that the force has a “robust plan” in place.

Despite celebrating in the streets on Thursday, Scottish supporters groups have criticised the lack of fan zone space in London.

There is no official fan zone for Scottish supporters because of COVID-19 regulations.

The traditional Scottish meeting spot of Trafalgar Square will not be accessible to them as it will be used as a socially-distanced, ticketed fan zone for 750 key workers, and the screen will not be visible without access.

Paul Goodwin, co-founder of the Scottish Football Supporters Association, said: “We are surprised and disappointed that there isn’t a fan zone in London. 

“We thought there should have been more foresight, London is the capital city, the main hosting city for the tournament.

Football fans in Leicester Square, London ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 Group D match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium. Picture date: Thursday June 17, 2021.
Football fans in Leicester Square, London, ahead of the Euro 2020 match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium. (PA)
 Scotland Football fans are seen before the match.
Football fans supporting Scotland arrived in London today prior to the UEFA football match between England and Scotland at Wembley tomorrow. Supporters are seen in various locations in London and most of them are heavily drunk. (Photo by Hesther Ng / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Scotland Football fans in London before the match. (PA)
 Scotland Football fans play in a fountain.
Football fans supporting Scotland arrived in London today prior to the UEFA football match between England and Scotland at Wembley tomorrow. Supporters are seen in various locations in London and most of them are heavily drunk. (Photo by Hesther Ng / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Scotland football fans play in a fountain in London on Thursday. (PA)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 17: Scotland fan chanting outside King's Cross Station on June 17, 2021 in London, England. Officials in Scotland and London, where the match will be hosted at Wembley Stadium, have discouraged Scottish fans without tickets to the game of coming south, due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images)
Scotland fans chanting outside King's Cross Station. (PA)

“However we are pragmatic, we’re realists, we totally understand as football fans, but also as human beings in the pandemic, of the big picture.”

There is an outside, socially-distanced fan zone in Glasgow Green with a capacity of up to 6,000 people per day which was organised between the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Uefa.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) estimates that 14.8 million pints will be sold across England and Scotland on match day, with more than three million sales during the game itself.

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