Scotland’s political leaders have hit out at Rangers fans for their “thuggish behaviour” as they flouted lockdown while celebrating their sides league win.
Thousands of Gers supporters descended on Ibrox Stadium then George Square in the city centre yesterday.
Broken glass and litter was strewn across the square while images on social media showed fights breaking out and people were seen urinating in public.
Sectarian songs could also be heard at various points throughout the day.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon led the criticism of supporters saying she was “angry” at the scenes.
She took to Twitter to say: “I’m understandably inundated with messages about y’day’s disgraceful scenes in Glasgow.
“Police still have a job to do, which restrains my comments to some extent – but to say I’m utterly disgusted by the Rangers fans who rampaged through the city would be an understatement.
“I’m also angry on behalf of every law abiding citizen. In normal times, the violence & vandalism, and the vile anti Catholic prejudice that was on display, would have been utterly unacceptable.
“But mid-pandemic, in a city with cases on the rise, it was also selfish beyond belief.
“People across the country still living under the most difficult restrictions – not able to see family or attend weddings and funerals – are rightly furious at the irresponsible actions of a thuggish minority who seem to care little for the risks they pose to other people.
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“Understandably people ask questions about if/how government and police can do more to prevent/tackle scenes like these, and there is a need to reflect.
“That said Police Scotland officers have my admiration and thanks for the job they did in difficult and dangerous circumstances.
“I hope Rangers Football Club will also reflect on what more must be done to tackle this behaviour by fans, albeit a minority.
“However, ultimate responsibility lies with those who behaved in such a thuggish, sectarian and selfish manner.
“And that’s why we must let the police do their job.”
Scottish Greens co-leader and Glasgow MSP Patrick Harvie said lives could be lost if “we carry on allowing this chaos to happen”.
He added: “Regardless of the pandemic, most people in Glasgow are utterly sick of having our city become a no-go zone because of this kind of thuggish behaviour.
“But it’s also clear the fact Glasgow has remained in level three restrictions was completely ignored by fans who defied warnings about dangerous mass gatherings.
“Authorities had a clear warning sign in March that this might happen again and that appealing to good sense was not enough to prevent these scenes being repeated.
“If we carry on allowing this chaos to happen, lives will be lost in the short term, and in the long term our city’s good name will be trashed, just as much as George Square was.
“The only people who come out well from this are the long-suffering cleansing workers who don’t deserve to have their hard work taken for granted in this way.”
Paul Sweeney, who represents the Glasgow region for Scottish Labour, thanked city council staff for cleaning George Square earlier today.
He tweeted: “Amazing work by Glasgow’s undervalued cleansing workers after shameful scenes of violence and vandalism that mortified all right-thinking Glaswegians last night, including Rangers fans. Those workers deserve our thanks and gratitude, our city should be compensated for the costs.
“It was also completely unacceptable to see hooligans throwing missiles and barriers at Police lines and hurling anti-Catholic sectarian abuse – some of which which I personally witnessed.
“I wish the injured Police officers a speedy recovery, and will meet commanders to discuss.”
While, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said: “The current restrictions must be respected as we enter this delicate period. Last night’s celebrations could undermine months of sacrifices and hard work. The reckless behaviour of a few could have a serious impact on many.
“There is a real public interest in establishing why this happened and what could have been done to prevented. That means Ministers being upfront about the decisions that were made and the basis for them. That accountability is essential.”