The Scottish Government have drawn the ire of Rangers fan for their response to frustrations from the club over the decision to only allow 2000 fans into Ibrox for a friendly with Arsenal.

Rangers said they were “disappointed” with the decision which will see 50k seater Ibrox filled to only 4% capacity for the commemorative friendly as part of the club’s 150th-anniversary celebrations.

Rangers v Celtic - Scottish FA Cup
Rangers fans are desperate to get back into Ibrox. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The club also took a shot at the authorities for the length of time taken to make the decision.

Rangers then pointed out the capacities handed to fixtures at Hampden during Euro 2020, which saw 12k spectators stream into grounds during stricter lockdown regulations.

Rather incredibly, the Scottish Government have claimed that because Euro 2020 was “internationally significant” this allowed for greater crowds.

“At the current stage of the pandemic, capacity limits are in place for events depending on the level each local authority is in,” said a Government spokesperson [Scottish Sun].

“The First Minister confirmed in her statement yesterday (Wednesday) that the whole of Scotland will move to Level 0 from Monday 19 July, which means that a standard capacity of up to 2,000 people at an outdoor event with seating will apply.

“Applications for exemptions to those limits for larger events, including football matches in stadiums, can be made to the relevant local authority.

“While Scotland is in Level 0 it will continue to be for local authorities to assess events applications for increased capacity, based on guidance, local health advice and assessment of information provided by event organisers.

“Numbers granted will need to take account of the physical distancing limit of 1m in place over this period.

“The Euro 2020 matches at Hampden were flagship events approved by the Scottish Government.

Sweden v Ukraine - UEFA Euro 2020: Round of 16
12k fans were allowed into Hampden for Euro 2020 matches. (Photo by Mark Runnacles – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

“This process is designed to enable a small number of internationally significant events to take place in 2021 with appropriate Covid-19 mitigations in place, based on extensive advance planning across multiple organisations.

“This process does not apply to regular domestic football matches.”

The suggestion that the pandemic would halt or the virus could differentiate between events is preposterous and given rise to greater frustration towards the government.

It is either safe to have these numbers in events or it isn’t.

There is clear apprehension over the return of crowds to football matches, giving rise to numerous theories as to why this government in particular are imposing themselves on the game here.

Rangers fans are not happy – just like all the other fans in the country – and the Scottish Government are losing football supporters with every daft assertion like this:

Rangers fans will be hoping to get more leeway from this government in the coming weeks as things get set to open up north of the border.

But the Ibrox club could yet be handed a boost and precedent by Old Firm rivals Celtic who are reportedly applying for 20k seats at an upcoming match.

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