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Council bans national anthem before rugby international
ESPN Staff
April 23, 2013

Scarborough Council have been forced onto the back foot over its banning of the playing of a national anthem before an international rugby match at the local ground.

The club wanted to play the British and Irish anthems before the game between games between England Colleges and Irish Exiles at Scarborough RFC but the council's regulations prohibit the playing of amplified music and jingles at the ground.

The club has been fighting the council for more than two years after councillors decided to ignore planning advice and amend a licensing clause. But after the council received considerable negative press when the story broke, it has decided to review the situation.

"We would welcome the club contacting us," a council spokesman told the Yorkshire Post. "Although planning conditions do not allow outdoor amplified music at the club's ground without prior consent, the playing of the national anthem is something we would most likely look at sympathetically."

Scarborough RFC chief executive Graeme Young said the time-consuming process insisted on by the council meant that he was not optimistic the situation would be resolved in time. "It's a formal planning process and the match is next week. Last time we tried to do it quickly we were told there was no possible way. We'll try though.

"This ridiculous situation highlights the draconian constraints which the rugby club must try and operate in," Young told the Scarborough News a day earlier. "Scarborough again is reduced to a laughing stock by having the only rugby club in the country which is banned from playing the national anthem by local politicians. Perhaps every council-owned venue in town should have the same restriction imposed.

"The almost total support we receive from the wider Scarborough community and the vast majority of Scalby residents further motivates us to continue the flight against this injustice."

He appealed for any local bands to contact the club if they were available to play on the day as the ban does not extend to live music.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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