EDINBURGH council is set to demand that the SFA move next month’s Scottish Cup final to the capital.
Scottish football’s governing body has already ruled that the match between city rivals Hearts and Hibs will be played in Glasgow’s Hampden stadium but council bosses want to see the game take place at Murrayfield instead.
Councillors from across the political parties have said that forcing fans to travel to the west makes little sense.
The majority of councillors backed a Murrayfield match Photo:Vclaw
And Labour councillors have asked the council’s chief executive to work with the clubs and the SFA to get the match held in Edinburgh.
Colin Keir the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Western is also planning on lodging a motion at Holyrood.
Kenny MacAskill, the justice secretary and MSP for Edinburgh East, has also said an east coast fixture should be an option.
He said: “Consideration has to be given to Murrayfield. This is a huge occasion.”
But he refused to say which stadium he would prefer the game to be held in.
“There are good arguments both ways,” he said.
“I will just be happy to get a ticket.”
But Labour councillor Gordon Monro, who supports Hibs, and his Hearts following colleague Ricky Henderson have lodged the party’s motion with the council.
In a joint statement that said: “Both our clubs will fill Hampden but we could also fill Murrayfield, which has a much bigger capacity and is much nearer the majority of fans of both clubs. Murrayfield would make it more affordable for families when money is tight to attend.”
But council leader Jenny Dawe said that while she supported the idea of bringing the game to the city she did not believe it was a practical possibility.
She said: “In an ideal world, it would be more environmentally friendly, less hassle and would allow more supporters to watch the game live to have the final at Murrayfield and I would prefer it to be there; but I would think it impossible to change the venue now. The tickets are probably being printed already and I know of several groups of fans who have already arranged their transport to Glasgow.”
Lib Dem councillor Gordon Mackenzie said: “I’d go with Murrayfield but the sad thing is everyone knows there’s no chance of the SFA helping the fans here. After all, which is more likely to make history, Hibs winning the cup or the SFA doing something sensible?”
The SFA say the game will take place at Hampden Photo: Martin Le Roy
But Edinburgh Southern MSP Jim Eadie backed a Glasgow final.
He said: “the players have earned the right to compete in the cup final in Scotland’s natio0nal stadium and no-one should take that from them.”
Of the city’s 58 councillors, 37 have backed a Murrayfield match while nine said they would like to see the game played at Hampden.
But the SFA has refused so far to listen to the pleas.
A spokesman said: “The Scottish Cup final will take place at Hampden Park. No other venue will be considered.”
But rugby bosses have said they would be willing to look at moving the game to Murrayfield if she was approached.
The last time the cup final was held in Edinburgh was in 1896 and was for the same reason – the final was between Edinburgh’s two main teams.