Raith game cancelled due to threat from extremists

Shielfield Park, home of Berwick Rangers. Pic: Kimberley Powell
Shielfield Park, home of Berwick Rangers. Pic: Kimberley Powell

Raith Rovers scheduled friendly match away to Berwick Rangers next Saturday has been postponed due to a potential threat from extremists.

The decision to cancel was taken after Northumbria Police received 'high level intelligence' that the fixture was being targeted by a far-right group planning to stage demonstrations, causing a potential safety issue for fans.

Some Rovers supporters face being out of pocket as they had already bought their train tickets for the journey to the Shielfield Park.

Raith chairman Bill Clark apologised for the cancellation but insisted the decision was not taken lightly.

"Both Berwick Rangers and ourselves wanted the game to go ahead," he said.

"We were contacted by Northumbria Police who told us they had high level intelligence that the game was being targeted by right wing extremists out to cause trouble and that there was a safety issue for fans.

"They advised that the safest action was to cancel the match. Reluctantly we have done so.

"The cancellation can't be blamed on either club.

"I'm sorry if fans have suffered a financial loss, but given what the police have told us there was no alternative decision possible.

"Fans' safety comes first."

The club and manager Barry Smith are now hoping to arrange an alternative pre-season fixture next Saturday.

Raith are in closed-doors friendly action against Partick Thistle today, before hosting Dunfermline Athletic at Bayview on Wednesday, where kick-off has been moved from 7.45 p.m to 8.00 p.m.