NICOLA Sturgeon has urged football fans preparing to flout Covid-19 restrictions to watch this weekend’s Old Firm match to think of the vulnerable people in their families.

Speaking at the Scottish Government's daily coronavirus briefing, she warned that supporters meeting up in houses or travelling over the Border for the game could set off a chain reaction that leads to someone becoming very ill or dying.

The First Minister said she struggled to understand why supporters would break the strict rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus to watch a football match. 

"It's not the biggest sacrifice I've asked people to make over the past seven months," she said.

Tomorrow’s game is the first Glasgow derby to be played without a crowd. 

Currently, pubs in the central belt are closed and there’s a ban on household visits, meaning fans will only be able to watch the game on their own TV if they have access to Sky Sports. 

READ MORE: Labour calls for Old Firm match to be postponed

Pubs in Blackpool and Carlisle have reportedly been inundated with requests from Glasgow based supporters to watch the match.

The First Minister warned fans not to gather outside stadiums, saying "there will be nothing to see there, so there is no point at all in turning up".

She added: “I know that there might be a temptation to try and get around local or national restrictions in this way but it is really important that you don't do that.

“In general right now people in the central belt should be avoiding travel to other parts of Scotland and all of us should be avoiding traveling to areas in England that have high infection levels.

“So please don't travel to other parts of Scotland or across the border just in an attempt to watch the match in a pub. It's really not worth the risk."

She added: "I know how important football is, but people over the last seven months have been asked to make the most horrendous sacrifices.

"People have not been able to get married normally, people have not been able to attend funerals of those nearest to them right now, none of us can go and visit our family in their houses.

"I'd love nothing more tomorrow, literally nothing more, than to go visit my mum and dad.

"I can't do that, they can't visit me."

"In the context of all the sacrifices, asking people not even not to watch the match if you're able to watch it in your own home, but just not to go to a pub, or not to go to somebody else's house - I'll be really pretty blunt here - that's not the biggest sacrifice I've asked people to make over the past seven months."

She called on fans to think of vulnerable people in their own lives.

"Every time one of us puts ourselves in a position where we are unnecessarily and avoidably exposed to this virus we could - completely inadvertently and unwillingly - but we could be setting off a chain reaction that leads to that vulnerable person in our own lives getting the virus and becoming very ill or worst-case scenario dying."

Earlier Labour’s Ian Murray called for the game to be postponed. He said that it was extraordinary that the game was still being played when there might be a public health risk.

The Edinburgh South MP told the BBC: “We've got businesses in my constituency and right across Scotland closing down, we've got people worried about their livelihoods, we've got people really worried about the spread of Covid in this second wave and really if there's a threat to public health it should be postponed.”

Asked about the call, Sturgeon said it was not within her power. She said "the vast majority of football supporters will behave responsibly" and that postponing the match was unnecessary.