Chief Superintendent Andy Bates, the match commander, addressed the Rangers squad at their Murray Park training ground near Milngavie and Celtic’s staff at their Lennoxtown complex in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the ill-tempered Scottish Cup fifth-round replay at Celtic Park on March 2.
His trip came two days after the Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini sent a strong reminder to senior officers that the players, coaches and club officials should face arrest and prosecution if their behaviour boiled over.
Strathclyde Police said Mr Bates spoke to players and staff of both teams about their duties as role models for young supporters. Mr Bates said: “The build-up for this match has been very unusual.
“Instead of the focus being on what is happening on the pitch, the attention has been firmly placed on what takes place off it. It is time for that to change.
“This is a match that gives both clubs the opportunity to showcase the best our country has to offer to a global audience of millions. I have met with both teams and all they want to concentrate on is doing their job and winning the match.
“They don’t want to be reading headlines about arrests, violence or domestic abuse any more than I do. These are headlines that shame us all and it is time for this type of behaviour to stop.”
Mr Bates also warned fans about the consequences of any violent or sectarian behaviour linked to the final.
He said: “While we will be doing everything we can to make sure that the game takes place in a relaxed, friendly manner, I have to stress that anyone who uses this match as an excuse to sing sectarian songs, become violent or abuse their partner will be arrested.”
Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist, whose touchline confrontation with Celtic manager Neil Lennon overshadowed the cup tie, praised Mr Bates’ intervention.
“If it was a gentle reminder, or whatever you want to call it, then fair enough,” he said.
Celtic assistant coach Johan Mjallby also welcomed the visit by Mr Bates and admitted that emotions had “got the better” of some during the game.