Shocking moment gang of '25 Edinburgh City ultras in masks' storm pre-season friendly

More than a dozen flares were lobbed all over the place.
-Credit: (Image: No credit)

Edinburgh City ultras sparked significant commotion at a pre-season friendly against Broxburn FC, leading to the shutdown of the game. The fracas took place on July 3 at Albyn Park in Broxburn, during the tie between the newly-promoted local side and League 2 team Edinburgh City.

Several men, dressed in black and masked by balaclavas, reportedly hijacked the away end with chants and flares burning. Captured on video, the seating area is overwhelmed by red and white smog from the ignited fireworks.

Additional footage exposes the gang in the stands while seemingly non-hostile fans attempt to maintain distance from the skirmish. Displaying large banners endorsing their team allegiance, the group of over twenty continue to stir trouble until the authorities intervene.

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Responding to the first-half disturbance, police advised the suspension of the match, quickly followed by the dispersal of the crowd. Matters have yet to escalate in terms of arrests.

As news of the suspended game spread over social media, concern was expressed over young fans present at the face-off. Suggestions even arose that future matches might necessitate official stewards for fan safety, reports the Daily Record.

An eye-witness reported, "A group of about 25 youths from Edinburgh got off the bus at 7pm headed straight for the ground via Church Street."

Another club member stated: "I have been part of this club now for nearly a year. I want to take this time to congratulate the club volunteers.

"We were in the Broxburn dugout at the other end. I was looking through my phone and was nudged to tell me it was all kicking off."

One spectator commented: "It's a bloody ridiculous carry-on at a friendly game. My two grandsons were there. They said the Edinburgh guys had masks over their mouths and were running around until the police came."

A representative at Broxburn Athletic FC declined to comment until an internal investigation had taken place.

Edinburgh City FC has also been approached for comment.

A Police Scotland spokesperson reported: "Around 7.45pm on Wednesday, 3 July, 2024, we were made aware of youths causing a disturbance at Albyn Park, Broxburn."

They further added: "Officers attended and following discussions, the game was abandoned and the crowd dispersed."

Earlier this year the Record reported that fans face banning orders if they are caught using pyrotechnics in stadiums under a clampdown being considered by the Scottish Government and football authorities.

The use of flares and smoke bombs has rocketed in recent years, despite repeated warnings against their use by clubs and police.

It is already illegal to carry fireworks or flares into football matches after legislation passed last year but many fans believe more needs to be done.