Scotland First Minister hopes for crowds at Murrayfield

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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon holds high hopes that next month’s Six Nations matches at Murrayfield will be hosted with “crowds of supporters”.

Scottish stadiums can only host 500 fans under the current restrictions that are in place.

Murrayfield is scheduled to host England on the 5 February, while they also take on France in the 2022 tournament. However, there are reports that the games may be moved.

Hopefully for “crowds”

“I hope very much we won’t have to go beyond 17 January with these restrictions,” Sturgeon said.

“All of us, including myself, want to be able to cheer Scotland on at Murrayfield in the Six Nations.

“But I don’t do anybody any good if I try to give certainty ahead of our ability to do that. We will continue to use the data and the evidence and reach the judgments to get that clarity as soon as possible.

“I certainly do very firmly hope that these matches will go ahead – and will go ahead to crowds of supporters.”

On Wednesday, Sturgeon unveiled a £5m package allocation for sports when clarifying changes to the national self-isolation protocols.

The Scottish government was called upon by various sporting bodies to clarify the return of fans to stadiums.

Speculation points to all Six Nations fixtures being played in England, where there are no restrictions on fan attendance, even though Scottish Rugby would prefer to play home fixtures at Murrayfield.

“There are many things I really wish I had over the course of this pandemic and one of them is a crystal ball to be able to see into the future with certainty. I don’t say that to be facetious,” she added.

“It is really difficult, particularly at this stage of a wave of the virus, to be certain about the future. That’s why we need to monitor things on a closer-time basis.

“We have right throughout had very good discussions with the SRU [Scottish Rugby Union] about matches at Murrayfield. They have been very constructive at working with us to enable games to go ahead.

“I know how important clarity is for those who cater for big sporting events and not least matches at Murrayfield, so that’s very much in our minds as we take decisions.”

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