The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee has today has given its backing to the UEFA Championship Bill which is being introduced ahead of Scotland hosting football matches as part of the EURO 2020 tournament next summer.
The UEFA Championship Bill seeks to introduce a range of provisions which will protect the commercial rights of the organisers. This includes action on ticket touting and street trading within designated fan zones.
Questions were raised during the evidence sessions as to whether buskers and charity collectors would be allowed to operate in the designated ‘fan zones’. The Scottish Government committed to creating exemptions to allow such activities to continue during the competition.
Commenting, Committee Convener Joan McAlpine said:
“The Committee recognises the significant cultural, economic and social opportunities that hosting part of EURO 2020 presents to Scotland. The Bill provides the tools necessary to make sure the event is a success and the Committee unanimously supports the principles of the Bill.
“It is welcoming to see that action will be taken to allow buskers and charity collectors to operate during the tournament.
“Travelling football fans are in for a real treat when they visit and soak up the unique atmosphere that will be created.”
The Committee also noted in its report that due to the timescale, local public engagement in the proposed changes had not yet taken place and therefore recommended that such engagement should begin as soon as possible.
Deputy Convener, Claire Baker MSP, commented:
“The Committee has considered this Bill to an extremely tight timescale in recognition of the benefit that hosting EURO 2020 matches will bring to Scotland.
“Ticket touting is an unacceptable act which takes advantage of fans. The Committee fully supports the measures proposed which send a clear message that such actions should become a thing of the past.”
The Bill consists of the following main components—
• To prohibit the unauthorised sale of Championship tickets in excess of face value or with a view to making a profit
• Prohibiting unauthorised street trading within an event zone in Glasgow
when such a zone is in operation
• Prohibiting unauthorised advertising within an event zone when such a zone is in operation
• Creating criminal offences for ticket touting, unauthorised street trading and advertising, and
• Providing for the designation of enforcement officers who would be given powers to enforce these offences
A copy of the report can be found here.