Scotland’s first minister Humza Yousaf has been accused of smirking as Scottish football fans loudly booed during God Save The King.
The SNP leader is claimed to have had a cheeky grin on his face as the Tartan Army tried to drown out the English national anthem when it was played before the start of the grudge match between England and Scotland on Tuesday.
Video footage shows Yousaf standing alongside Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell as a chorus of boos can be heard echoing throughout Hampden Park stadium.
He appears to initially hold back his enjoyment of the situation but seconds later he is said to be smirking as the jeering from the Scotland fans intensifies.
Despite England overcoming their opponents with a 3-1 victory, much of the talk after the game, which celebrated the 150th Anniversary Heritage match between the old enemies, centred around the Scottish fans’ spiteful reaction.
Scotland’s first minister Humza Yousaf has been accused of smirking as Scottish football fans booed during God Save The King
The SNP leader was seen with a cheeky grin on face as the Tartan Army tried to drown out the English national anthem
Humza Yousaf in the stands alongside Scottish FA Chief Executive Ian Maxwell during the 150th Anniversary Heritage international friendly match at Hampden Park
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.
‘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 stoney-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 that 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 working as a commentator at the game, said that he sung along to God Save the King on the gantry and suggested that ‘SNP fans’ were behind the incident.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino was seen speaking 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 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 or 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 twitter, who 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.’