The Scottish Football Association has admitted it rejected a police request to move the time of Scotland’s World Cup Qualifier against England.
Police Scotland was unhappy with the 5pm kick-off time on Saturday, initially over fears regarding their resources and problems caused by extra drinking time for fans.
The issue has been further exacerbated by the terror attacks in Manchester and London which mean enhanced security measures will be in place in and around Hampden. But the SFA stood firm over the kick-off time, which was set by UEFA in 2015.
Chief executive Stewart Regan said: “The police have expressed their concerns. We have made our position clear that we have sold tickets, the match has been publicised since 2015 and we believe that two hours will not make material difference.
“We believe we have put in place a robust security plan and, as far as that plan is concerned, the police are happy to police that set of agreements and the match will go ahead with UEFA supervision at five o’clock.
“The police would have preferred an earlier kick-off but we have had discussions with them and consulted with UEFA and given the television contracts, that tickets have been sold, the disruption it would have caused to reschedule the match would have far outweighed the benefits of moving the match to an earlier kick-off.
“The police have agreed to police whatever fixture is in place. We have worked with them to get to a pragmatic solution.”
When asked whether the terror attacks should have prompted a rethink, Regan said: “Events are happening all over the world. We had the Champions League final taking place in Cardiff on Saturday night at the same time as events were unfolding in London, but because of the security measures put in place the match went ahead and was incredibly successful.
“You could put whatever kick-off time in place but if there is a determination to disrupt, people will try and do it. We have got to make sure we have mitigated every risk.”
The security measures include an enhanced police presence, armed officers outside the stadium for reassurance and increased bag searches.
Hampden will be open two hours before kick-off and Regan urged fans to arrive early and “bear with us” amid delays caused by the extra security.