New call for Scotland international football matches to be free to watch


Scotland captain Andy Robertson. Photo: PA

SCOTLAND international football matches should be free, says a Scottish Greens MSP.

It comes as ITV confirmed that Wednesday night’s match at Hampden Park against Ukraine will be shown for free.

This is the first of three Nations League matches Scotland have played during the international break.

However, Saturday’s match against the Republic of Ireland will be behind a paywall as it is broadcast by Premier Sports.

Gillian Mackay, Scottish Greens spokesperson for health and sport, has called on the Scottish Football Association (SFA) to make future international matches available to watch without a subscription.

The National: MSP of the Greens Gillian Mackay

The National: MSP of the Greens Gillian Mackay

MSP Greens Gillian Mackay

It is hoped that this decision can inspire the athletes of the future.

The Central Scotland MSP said: “It’s great the game is free in Scotland, but that shouldn’t be the exception.

“All of our international matches should be free to watch, rather than fans having to pay big bucks for a subscription during a cost crisis, or feeling like they have to be crammed into a pub.

“If we want kids to look up to our athletes or be inspired by them, they need to be able to see them in action.

“Our national team should be for all of us.

READ MORE: Key battles between Scotland and Ukraine ahead of Hampden Nations League showdown

“Far too many of our sporting events are already far too expensive for families to attend, or they are hidden behind an expensive paywall.

“Like many, including the thousands of Ukrainians who call Scotland home, I will be watching the game tonight.

“I am happy that it is free and accessible to as many people as possible.

“That’s why I urge the SFA to make sure the same can be said of all games to come.”

Meanwhile, SNP MP Gavin Newlands praised ITV4’s arrangements ahead of the game against Ukraine.

“I welcome the steps taken so far to make Scottish fixtures free, but I urge broadcasters to go further to make these crucial matches more accessible to fans,” he said.

“There is no reason why Scotland cannot put in place similar arrangements as in Wales, where broadcaster S4C has successfully secured the rights to broadcast Welsh international and domestic matches for the next few years. .

“With the cost of living crisis spiraling out of control and households struggling to make ends meet, the reality is that sport is often an escape for many people from the challenges they face in their lives. We should work to ensure that more people have access to games rather than burdening them with expensive subscriptions.

“Lack of access also has consequences for the future health of the sport, and I have expressed concerns about the myopia of having major national sporting events hidden behind a paywall.”


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