MULTI-MILLION pound technology will not stop football fans taking banned pyrotechnics to games, police sources have told the Evening Times.

Insiders slammed plans to spend up to £4million on facial recognition technology, which aims to help fight offensive behaviour in stadiums.

Read: Times Talker: Should facial recognition cameras be introduced to Scottish football?

It comes as Scottish football bosses asked for financial support from the government for the scheme.

The Scottish Professional Football League has vowed to take a firm stance on sectarian singing and the use of banned flares.

And officials believe the new technology could be the key to stopping recent incidents, involving Rangers, Celtic and Dundee United fans.

However, a police source told the Evening Times: "We are all in agreement that the use of pyrotechnics needs to stop - and it needs to stop now.

"But I'm not convinced spending millions of pounds on cameras and facial recognition technology will be of help if the individual suspected of setting off a pyrotechnic is covered in a cloud of coloured smoke.

"These individuals are also fully aware of the consequences of being caught with banned pyrotechnics and many already cover their faces with scarves."

Another police insider said "more thorough searches" by stadium stewards were required.

The Scottish Government and the Scottish leagues' governing body have reportedly already met to discuss financial help for the multi-million pound scheme to identify offenders.

Recent cases of sectarian chanting and the use of smoke bombs and flares have prompted the discussion within the Scottish Professional Football League.

The Evening Times previously told how one top cop told football fans to report all incidents of abuse in a bid to combat bigotry at games.

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins said fans should report incidents to officers or stewards as he warned that someone could be seriously injured, or even killed, by fans setting off flares at matches.

His warning came after Celtic supporters at Stair Park let off flares and threw a smoke bomb onto the pitch during the match with Stranraer.

Meanwhile, Rangers bosses vowed to help police track down and identify fans involved in sectarian chanting during their Ibrox clash with Hibernian in December.

And an orange smoke bomb was let off during Dundee United's Scottish Premiership match against Celtic at Tannadice Park on Friday night.