Safety fear postpones Rangers match

The Northern Echo: Rangers manager Ally McCoist expressed his disappointment that this weekend's game had been called off Rangers manager Ally McCoist expressed his disappointment that this weekend's game had been called off

Rangers' match against Elgin City this weekend has been postponed because too many tickets were sold.

The game at Borough Briggs stadium in the north-east of Scotland was scheduled for a lunchtime kick-off on Sunday, but it has been called off by police and council officials on safety grounds.

The Scottish Football League said there had been a "substantial oversale of tickets". Moray Council said the stadium has a capacity of 4,500 but around 1,000 more fans were expected to travel to the game.

Earlier this week, Elgin director and safety officer Martyn Hunter said 4,520 tickets had been sold and that the stadium would be at its capacity for the first time in years.

A spokesman for Moray Council said: "We are extremely disappointed to have to ask the club to cancel the game. It is certainly not a decision anyone involved has taken lightly.

"We know how thousands of fans have been looking forward to the match, but there is a real risk to their safety here. The ground can only take 4,500, so another 1,000-plus disappointed fans with nowhere to go is a major concern."

Match Commander Superintendent Mark Cooper said: "On Friday afternoon it came to light that tickets for Saturday's Elgin City v Rangers fixture had been substantially oversold. After discussions with the club it was clear that we were faced with the prospect of at least 1,100 extra fans turning up for what was an already sold-out fixture.

"We understand that fans will be disappointed with the cancellation of this match but our primary concern always has to be safety and we could not allow a situation that potentially put lives or the welfare of the general public at risk."

Rangers accepted an apology from Elgin over the postponement but manager Ally McCoist said: "We are disappointed the match has been called off at such short notice and I know Elgin are as well."

Rangers are two points ahead of Elgin at the top of the Scottish Third Division. The Scottish Football League said it will "conduct a full investigation into the circumstances" of the postponement.

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