02 December 2013

It's not cool

At the end of Rangers' 2-0 Scottish Cup victory away to Falkirk, a "pyrotechnic device" was thrown onto the pitch, causing significant damage. Rangers will now be billed for the damage, which some say could run into six figures. Guest contributor Scott Ferguson has this short but effective message...

by Scott Ferguson | Guest Contributor

It’s not cool, it’s not clever...

In my career as a community worker I come across many instances of ‘Health and Safety gone mad’ scenarios. It can be extremely frustrating and at times a major hindrance. I understand though that these measures are put in place to protect folk from harm...or at least to prevent your company or organisation being sued to death by some idiotic individual who perhaps thought it would be a good idea to lick electrical cables.

Sometimes however Health and Safety rules are not only needed but for anyone with half a brain they should be so bloody obvious that they shouldn’t even need to be written. Bringing flares, bangers, smoke bombs etc to football matches for example is what I would call a no-brainer.

The recent surge and trend of the use of these at football matches should be a concern for everyone. In the last year or so the use of flares or other pyrotechnic devices rose 139% in English football and these figures are expected to double again this year.

Scotland is certainly not exempt as we have seen recently that both sides of the Glasgow divide have become more and more familiar with their use at their respective matches. It’s not cool, it’s not clever and it’s not Health and Safety gone mad.

Just ask 14-year-old Kevin Beltran Espada.

Unfortunately in reality we cannot ask Kevin his opinion on the matter. The reason we cannot ask him is because, as Kevin was watching his team play at the Jesus Stadium in Bolivia last February, during the celebrations of an early goal a projectile from a flare struck him in the eye and caused his brain to haemorrhage...he died before he arrived at hospital.

It’s not cool, it’s not clever and it’s not Health and Safety gone mad.