FA deny banning bagpipes from Wembley for match between England and Scotland

The sides meet this August for the first time in 14 years

Football Association chiefs have denied they are set to ban the Tartan Army from playing bagpipes when England host Scotland in a Wembley friendly.

The two nations have not met in 14 years and the August 14 international will be the first visit of Gordon Strachan's men to the rebuilt London stadium.

But FA bosses insist newspaper reports suggesting that fans playing bagpipes will be turned away at the gate on health and safety grounds are false.

Anyone hoping to play musical instruments within the 80,000-seater arena, however, will have to apply first.

FA spokesman Stuart Mawhinney said: "Further to media reports, The Football Association would like to clarify its policy on bringing musical instruments into Wembley Stadium for England v Scotland on 14 August.

"At this time we have yet to receive an official approach from the Scottish Football Association regarding details for their official members who will attend the fixture, though this is not unusual given that ticket details have only just been released.

"Both organisations are in regular dialogue regarding all operational matters.

"The FA would listen to any specific requests from the proper channels, and look to make provisions where possible.

"We regularly welcome the England supporters' group who play instruments to Wembley Stadium and have worked with clubs and fan groups, on a case by case basis, to facilitate entry for personalised items not permitted within the stadium ground regulations.

"There is a process in place for every fixture and, with prior notice and agreement to the specific criteria, they are permitted entry and to play within the stadium in pre-agreed areas.

"It should be made clear that any supporters who do not seek prior permission through the official channels, in this case the Scottish FA, and attempt to enter the ground with any prohibited items they will either be confiscated or the ticket holder refused entry."

Press Association Sport understands the SFA has not received any applications from Scotland supporters hoping to take bagpipes into Wembley.

Meanwhile, the FA says it will provide fans of each side with one "large crowd-surfing banner".

Mawhinney added: "England and Scotland is the oldest international fixture in world football, and it is only fitting to stage the game this year.

"Celebrating 150 years of The FA and 140 years of the Scottish FA, we fully expect it to be a wonderful occasion and it is only right that supporters from both teams are able to share in the special night at Wembley."

An SFA spokesperson said: "Full details on match arrangements, including ticket details, will be sent out this week."

PA

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