Fans’ groups in Scotland and Northern Ireland have welcomed the announcement that their respective Euro 2020 play-off finals are to be shown on free-to-air channels on Thursday evening.
Broadcaster Sky will screen Scotland’s clash with Serbia on the Sky Sports Football, Sky One and Pick channels, while the Northern Ireland game against Slovakia will be shown on Sky Sports Premier League and Challenge.
Graeme Baxter from the Association of Tartan Army Clubs said: “Both ATAC and the AONISC had spoken to our respective FAs in August about the desire to see our games made as widely accessible as possible, so the decision by Sky to show Thursday’s matches on free to air channels is brilliant news.”
Gary McAllister from the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs added: “This is a really good decision by Sky. With a limited number of fans allowed into our match against Slovakia and pubs currently closed, this will allow everyone to see the game in their own home and avoid the temptation for people to congregate elsewhere to see the action.”
The decision also means that fans from all four of the UK ‘home nations’ will be able to watch their National Teams on free-to-air television with England against the Republic of Ireland airing on ITV, while Wales’ friendly against the USA will be shown on S4C.
A Scotland fan was writing an article for Scottish Epistles Football Fanzine on the Rosebery colours. One of the things that came out of this was the fact that these colours were worn in the international against England at The Oval in 1881 in which Andrew Watson was the captain, and the first international black football player.
Of course, Watson is also commemorated on the mural at the 1st Hampden (now Hampden Bowling club) for playing in the international against England there the following year which resulted in a 5-1 victory.
Andrew Watson died in 1921 and is buried in Richmond cemetery where his grave has fallen into state of disrepair. A Scotland fan who lives in the area visited the cemetery in 2020 and took pictures of the grave displayed on this site. It struck the Scotland fan, known as Ally, that this was all rather sad – one of Scotland’s most important sporting icons, who is commemorated on a mural at Hampden, who will hopefully be recognised with a permanent statue/memorial in Glasgow and who should be lauded as a pioneer of the game of football, in a unassuming resting place with no indication as to his importance. Surely the very least that should be done is that grave could be tidied up and restored to a more befitting state.
ATAC have kicked off donations with an initial £250 contribution, and we are encouraging people to contribute as much or as little as they want. Please donate what you can. It’s an incredible story.
Son of a wealthy Scottish Sugar planter, Andrew was born in British Guiana, and brought to the UK as a child. He attended school in West Yorkshire and London, before studying philosophy, mathematics and engineering at the University of Glasgow.
After a spell as the star player and match secretary of Glasgow’s Parkgrove FC, he would go on to play for two of the greatest clubs of the nineteenth century; Queen’s Park and Corinthians. A strong and composed full back, Watson won three Scottish Cups and four Glasgow Charity Cups with Queen’s Park and played in the Corinthians side which thrashed FA Cup holders Blackburn Rovers 8-1 in 1883. Swifts in 1882, he also has the accolade of being the first black footballer to play in the FA Cup.
Watson played 3 times for Scotland, captaining the side to a 6-1 victory over England at the Oval in 1881. This result remains England’s heaviest defeat on home soil. He played twice more for Scotland (a 5-1 win against Wales in 1881 and a 5-1 win against England in 1882) before heading to London. Playing for London
ATAC were represented at tonight’s Football Supporters Europe Summer 2020 Networking meeting.
It has been confirmed by UEFA to FSE today, that the closed door policy for all UEFA matches applies to all club, International and U21 international matches until further notice From this evening’s meeting, we understand that September’s Nations League matches will fall into UEFA’s closed door policy announced a few weeks back.
We are expecting an announcement in August with regards the October fixtures. UEFA may decide, in the interests of sporting fairness, all Nations League matches for this year are closed doors to prevent teams having an advantage in the later games Unsure as of yet if it applies to the October playoffs for @EURO2020 (2021).
We hope to receive further clarification from SFA & SSC next week.
The recent return of football behind closed doors has demonstrated that fans are the lifeblood of the game. Their presence in the stands has been sorely missed, and the spectacle we are accustomed to has been absent without them. It is therefore more important now than ever for supporters to be included in discussions that will determine the immediate and long-term future of the game.
These discussions should revolve around three core pillars.
First, the safe return of spectators. The impact of the virus is not evenly distributed—different countries have understandably adopted different measures at different times. Still, the health of players, staff, fans, and the general public must always come first. This means minimising the risk of the virus spreading in all settings. UEFA, national leagues, and football associations have acted in line with this principle, but it must remain our foremost concern. To this end, the return of spectators to stadia must be accompanied by a meaningful consultation with fans’ representatives at every level of the game on health safety protocols and other operational measures.
Second, a recognition that the contribution made by fans is irreplaceable. As such, we have significant concerns regarding attempts by broadcasters to replace or imitate the unique atmosphere produced by fans. Augmented reality technology, pre-recorded chants, and other forms of artificial support represent a rebuke to match-going fans. Empty stadia are a direct consequence of a public health crisis that has impacted every single one of us and the absence of fans cannot be compensated for by a computer simulation aimed at the amusement of television audiences.
Third, multi-stakeholder dialogue on the future of football. The coronavirus crisis has yet again shown that the current model of football is flawed, unfair, and unsustainable. Football needs to change dramatically. And it needs to change for the better. Any reform process must include fan representatives, on a local, national, and European level. Fans must be engaged and involved in decisions that relate to the wider future of the game, including the necessary overhaul of governance structures and financial regulations.
There can be no “return to normal.” Lasting change is needed to make the game sustainable from top to bottom, and fans stand ready to play a part in shaping that change.
ATAC’s Chair and Vice Chair, Martin Riddell, and Graeme Baxter, attended a meeting earlier this week at the invitation of the Major Events Team at Scottish Government, to discuss the UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill following its introduction at the end of September. The basis of the bill is to put protections in place for the Euro’s next year taking place, and impacting supporters, in Scotland. This involves stringent legislation on ticket touting, advertising, and street trading, along with the provision to police and enforcement officers to implement fully.
Ticket Touting and the resale of tickets for any kind of profit, for matches in Glasgow, or by individuals in Scotland, will be a criminal offence, in addition to breaching conditions set out by UEFA. We would encourage anyone wishing to attend the matches to apply for tickets through UEFA, or in the event of Scotland qualifying, the Scotland Supporters Club / SFA. Restrictions on advertising and street trading will be in place at Hampden, a perimeter surrounding the stadium, and within the event zones to be located within the City Centre.
ATAC are fully supportive of the measures being put in place to protect supporters, and will keep supporters up to date on further developments as the tournament nears. You can keep up to date on its progression through parliament by visiting the Scottish Government website