Sadiq Khan tells Scotland fans: 'If you don't have a ticket, don't come to London'

18 June 2021, 11:35 | Updated: 18 June 2021, 16:19

Sadiq Khan's message to Scotland football fans in London

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Sadiq Khan has pleaded with ticketless Scotland fans not to come to London ahead of their national side's crunch Euro 2020 fixture with England.

Taking LBC calls for Speak to Sadiq, the Mayor of London told the Tartan Army they "can't just rock up to the pub" to watch the game on Friday night.

He warned Scotland supporters already in the capital to book ahead rather than turning up to pubs, bars and restaurants without a reservation otherwise they will risk missing the match.

His message comes as coronavirus restrictions remain in place up and down the country, meaning many venues will not accept punters unless they have pre-booked.

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But with Scotland facing England for the Auld Enemy rivalry in an international tournament for the first time in 25 years, most places are expected to be at capacity.

Speaking to James O'Brien, Mr Khan had a clear message for those fans already in the city: "If you've not got a ticket already for the game, please, please, please try and book now for somewhere to watch the game tonight safely in a pub, bar or restaurant.

"You can't just rock up to a pub and see the game."

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He warned them that they will miss the fixture - due to kick-off at 8pm in Wembley Stadium, which will be at 25 per cent capacity, or 22,5000 supporters - because of Covid measures.

"To those who haven't yet already arrived, listen to this, please don't come to London unless you've got a ticket for the game or somewhere safe to watch it," the mayor added.

"Why? Because of Covid-19, we've only got one fan zone and that's limited to 750 people because of social distancing rules and those places have been given up already to key workers who, I think, deserve to watch the game on a big screen in Trafalgar Square."

He told James that the authorities "simply cannot provide other fan zones across our city because of Covid".

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Mr Khan explained that he does not want people missing the Auld Enemy fixture and added that restrictions are in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Asked whether more fan zones were considered, the mayor replied: "It was impossible."

"We're now additionally concerned about the spread of the Delta variant," he told LBC.

However, tens of thousands of the Tartan Army have already descended upon London.

Footage has shown one fan being hit by a motorbike as he stumbled across the road, while other videos showed supporters singing and putting washing up liquid in a water fountain in Leicester Square.

Thousands of Scotland fans descend on central London