Rugby World Cup 2011

Bagpipe ban for Scots

2011-09-20 11:38
Scottish rugby fan playing the bagpipe (Getty Images)

Cape Town - First the vuvuzela, now the infamous Scottish bagpipe.

Organisers of the RWC have announced that they have imposed a ban on bagpipes at this year’s tournament fearing that it may distract Scotland’s opponents.

It is the first time that bagpipes have been banned from the tournament as they have been allowed at all the previous editions of the rugby showpiece.

However, the Scots have not been taking the issue lying down.

Letters of complaints to the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key have been sent, including one from Scottish sports minister, Shona Robison.

One Scottish pipe player in New Zealand for the World Cup, Matthew Strachan was both surprised and appalled at the ‘new decision’ made.

“After spending considerable money getting to New Zealand to support my country I was shocked to hear bagpipes were not allowed in the stadiums.

“I've played the pipes in most of the UK stadiums and also in France during the last World Cup and they have always been gratefully received.

“Why then after many sporting years have the World Cup organisers decided against having them in stadiums? At least pipers should be allowed to play up to the start of the game and afterwards,” he told The Telegraph’s website.

Strachan has even  set up a Facebook campaign to aid his campaign to have the ban lifted, even Scotland scrumhalf, Chris Cusiter put his backing behind the campaign.

Scottish MP, Jim Eadie, pointed out that if RWC organisers allow ceremonial traditions such as the New Zealand haka then it should only fair that Scottish fans were allowed to ‘showcase Scotland’ with their bagpipes.

“This is a ridiculous position for the New Zealand authorities to take. Bagpipes are allowed into stadia all over the world for sporting competitions without any problems.

“I have been in contact with the Scottish Rugby Union and together we are hoping the New Zealand authorities will drop the ban on the pipes for the remainder of the games.”


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