SPFL chief: ‘No surprise’ Covid passports dropped by Westminster

The chief executive of Scotland’s professional football league (SPFL) has said it is “no surprise” the UK Government has scrapped plans for vaccine passports.

Neil Doncaster stopped short of calling for the same to happen in Scotland, saying he “respects” the view of the Scottish Parliament which voted earlier this week to bring vaccine passports in for nightclubs and larger events from October 1.

This includes outdoor events of more than 10,000, which will cover football matches involving larger clubs.

However, Mr Doncaster told BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show the SPFL is “concerned” about the practicalities of delivering the scheme and said spot-checking is the only way it can be done.

He said: “We did make it clear that when the idea of vaccine passports was first mooted that we thought it was difficult concept.

“It’s no surprise, certainly, to see the announcement this morning by the UK Government that the plans for vaccine passports will be scrapped.”

“We certainly had huge concerns about how practical they are in the context of an outdoor environment where frankly there is very little, if any, evidence that an outdoor environment, people gathering in those environments, helps to spread the virus.”

He added: “Now that it’s been voted through our concern that is however it is implemented it has to be practically achievable.”

Mr Doncaster is calling for spot checks on fans rather than blanket inspections of vaccine certification, warning that the latter would risk “disorder” as fans become frustrated since most turn up shortly before kick-off.

He said: “I think it can work but I think spot-checking is frankly the only practical reality because if you are expecting football clubs to vaccine passport check 30,000 or 40,000 people in the minutes before kick-off, that’s simply not going to happen.

“It can’t happen.

“I don’t think it’s achievable, realistically.”

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992