Opinion: Spectating on the Euros from comfort of my armchair

The trials and tribulations of being a supporter of Scotland's national football team are not an easy cross to bear.

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 12:30 pm

How often have we built up a campaign only to be knocked down to the depths of despair on the national stage.

Well we’ve certainly not done that for 23 years – can it really be that long since the Tartan Army headed to France?

For over two decades we’ve had to miss out on Euros and World Cup competitions and pin our allegiances on others who made the finals.

10-06-2017. Picture Michael Gillen. GLASGOW. Hampden. 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifier. Scotland v England. Scotland fans celebrate Leigh Griffiths second goal.

It’s been a long time coming for the diehard supporters who make up the Tartan Army to finally see our team in the latter stages.

Of course, the pandemic wrecked havoc with the final qualifying matches but Scotland has secured a place and will be there when the delayed competition begins tomorrow (Friday).

Organising such a massive event during the current restrictions will not have been easy.

While all football fans want to be as involved in the run-up and during matches, we’ve not spent so many months in strict lockdown to suddenly forget about the health implications of lots of people in close proximity either at matches or in fan zones being set up across the country.

People have missed out on the opportunity to share their wedding day or tragically, say goodbye to a loved one at a funeral due to limits on numbers.

Yet the go-ahead has been given for a fan zone for thousands of people in the centre of Glasgow.

Fans are also being asked not to travel to London for the match on June 18 unless they have a ticket for the Wembley match.

The traditional meeting ground for Scottish fans in Trafalgar Square is already earmarked as a fan zone for key workers.

While there is a need to balance the desire for people to get together to enjoy these matches – in Scotland’s case hopefully more than just the group stages – but we can never forget that in other aspects of our day-to-day life we are still being encouraged to socially distance.

We’ve come too far in the last 14 months to risk the reintroduction of restrictions if covid rates rise again.

For that reason, I’m going to be spectating from the comfort – and safety – of my armchair.

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