Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf is accused of 'smirking' as Tartan Army loudly booed 'God Save the King' before England played at Hampden Park

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  • Video shows SNP leader appearing to smile as Scottish fans tried to drown out England’s national anthem before the 150th anniversary match of the historic tie 

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf has been accused of smirking as Scottish football fans booed during God Save The King.

The SNP leader seemed to have a cheeky grin on his face as the Tartan Army tried to drown out the national anthem when it was played before the start of the match between England and Scotland on Tuesday. 

Video footage shows Yousaf standing alongside Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell as a chorus of boos echoes through Hampden Park stadium. 

He initially appears to hold back his enjoyment but seconds later he seems to smirk as the jeering from the Scottish fans intensifies. 

England won the game 3-1. The fixture marked the 150th anniversary of the match between the old enemies. But much of the talk after the game centred on the Scottish fans’ reaction. 

Scotland's first minister Humza Yousaf seemed to smirk as Scottish football fans booed during God Save The King

Scotland’s first minister Humza Yousaf seemed to smirk as Scottish football fans booed during God Save The King

The SNP leader seemed to have a cheeky grin on his face as the Tartan Army tried to drown out the English national anthem

The SNP leader seemed to have a cheeky grin on his face as the Tartan Army tried to drown out the English national anthem

Humza Yousaf gives a thumbs-up in the stands alongside Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell

Humza Yousaf gives a thumbs-up during the match at Hampden Park alongside Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell

The onlooker who filmed the video told the Scottish Sun: ‘Humza Yousaf looked like he was trying to stop himself from bursting out laughing and not really succeeding. 

READ MORE: Scotland fans who booed national anthem before clash at Hampden Park are ‘out of order’ and ‘SNP fans’, says Ally McCoist

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‘He appeared to be smirking throughout the entire national anthem.

‘It wasn’t really how you would have expected him to react to the booing.

‘The sensible thing would have been to maintain a stony-faced demeanour throughout, in a dignified manner.’ 

He added that he thought Yousaf came across ‘like a cheeky boy’ and was ‘desperate’ to let out a big laugh as the booing continued. 

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser also weighed in on the controversy, saying he failed his ‘duty’ to show respect to the King. 

He told the Scottish Sun: ‘Humza Yousaf has made no secret of the fact that he’s a Republican but, as First Minister of Scotland, he has a duty to show respect to our Head of State and all nations and anthems.

‘By apparently smirking while a section of supporters booed God Save the King, he fell short of that.’

Former Scotland striker Ally McCoist yesterday branded fans who booed the anthem as ‘totally out of order’. 

Mr McCoist, who was a commentator at the game, said he sung along to God Save The King on the gantry and suggested that SNP fans were behind the incident.

Fifa President Gianni Infantino speaks with the First Minister ahead of the international friendly match on Tuesday

Fifa President Gianni Infantino spoke with the First Minister ahead of the international friendly match on Tuesday

The pair were pictured together in the stands before Scotland fans began booing the English national anthem God Save The King

The pair were pictured together in the stands before Scotland fans began booing the English national anthem God Save The King

The 60-year-old, who both played for and managed Rangers, told TalkSport: ‘I do not like the booing of any national anthem to be honest with you. I just think it is a distinct lack of respect. I genuinely dislike it intensely.

‘If you can’t show respect, I am not talking about England, I am talking about anybody that goes to Hampden, any football ground or any sporting event. 

‘If you can’t show the opposition respect by respecting their national anthem, I think it is a poor show.

‘I get the rivalry with England and Scotland, and I get some of the Scots, perhaps SNP fans, giving it the whole bit, but I am talking about in general. 

‘There should be respect shown for an opposing national anthem and I think it is totally out of order.’

The remarks drew the ire of many Scottish nationalists on X. They levelled abusive terms including ‘lickspittle’ and ‘Quisling’ at Mr McCoist, who scored 19 goals for Scotland during an international career spanning 12 years. 

A spokesperson for the First Minister said: ‘This is a massive over-interpretation by the Conservatives – they ought to have more important things on their mind.

‘The First Minister was looking forward to the match, end of story.’




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