Football: Police may be called in Glasgow tickets row

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THE ROW over the allocation of seats for the first leg of the European Championship play-off between Scotland and England in Glasgow degenerated into farce last night when council workers who queue-jumped to acquire tickets threatened to call in police if they do not receive them.

If Glasgow City Council presses ahead with moves to block the purchase of tickets by the 250 employees, their union will call in police, alleging theft. It is the latest twist to the saga of the bungled allocation of tickets for the game at Hampden Park on 13 November.

When thousands of fans tried to buy the sought-after seats via a jammed telephone hotline on Friday, the council employees used the internal phone system to which the ticket hotline was connected.

Glasgow City Council were given the task of distributing the tickets for the match, the first time the two countries have faced each other on the field in Scotland in 10 years. There was an outcry when news of the queue-jumping emerged and council officials said all tickets obtained via the internal lines would be handed back to the Scottish Football Association, although the council does not plan to discipline the workers.

The SFA had said it hoped to redistribute the disputed seats - thought to number about 500 - through their 78 member clubs, who could sell them on to Scotland supporters.

Angela Lynes, branch secretary for the Unison public sector union, said: "Our legal advice is clear. If the council withholds tickets from employees then Strathclyde police will be requested to investigate alleged theft of legitimately purchased match tickets."