However, the Scottish Football Association have come out strongly to condemn the minority of their own fans who booed and jeered their way through the national anthem of Liechtenstein on Tuesday evening.
It is not, as far as I know, anything to do with any particular issue with Liechtenstein that the Scots acted as they did, it is all to do with the fact that their national anthem is the same tune as the hated English ‘God save the Queen’.
The Scottish FA described the fans’ actions as ‘disgraceful’.
Acting chief executive of the SFA, George Peat said,
“I apologise unreservedly to our visitors for the crass reaction to their anthem. The Scotland fans have worked hard to earn their reputation throughout the world as fun-loving and respectful followers of football. Last night, those who chose to boo our opponents’ anthem only served to tarnish that reputation. It must not be forgotten that all nations must abide by Fifa’s Fair Play policy and last night’s behaviour does nothing to help Scotland’s image.”
Peat also added that he had unreservedly apologised in private to the Liechtenstein delegation at the game and that he had been embarrassed by what had happened.
The ‘Tartan Army’ does have a great reputation around the world as Peat said and despite travelling in huge numbers, they are rarely caught up in the sort of carnage that followed English supporters for many years.
Celtic and Rangers fans have been involved in a huge amount of trouble with each other and on their own, but when the ‘Tartan Army’ come together, they are almost always a peaceful bunch. Some might say that they are usually too drunk to get involved in trouble but that would be facetious!
More embarrassing for Scotland was the fact that their team very nearly failed to beat Liechtenstein, but a ninety-seventh minute goal did the trick and unbelievably they find themselves top of their group with four points from two games.
I wonder how important this issue actually is? Of course it is disrespectful to the other nation and shouldn’t be done but there are far worse things to worry about aren’t there?
If my national anthem was booed and jeered by the opposition it would just make me more determined to win the game. The action is self-defeating and just a little bit pathetic. The people who do it need to take a little look at themselves.
I am sure that Liechtenstein will have accepted the apology and that the matter is now closed. It won’t be the last time it happens though.
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