Leader comment: Football’s priceless feel-good factor

Ikechi Anya celebrates Scotland's winning goal at Hampden Park on Thursday night. Another win on Sunday would be further cause to celebrate.
Ikechi Anya celebrates Scotland's winning goal at Hampden Park on Thursday night. Another win on Sunday would be further cause to celebrate.
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The game of football might bore some to tears, and in the days before satellite TV was able to devote dedicated stations to wall-to-wall coverage of 22 men kicking a plastic ball around, complaints about too much football on terrestrial TV were hard to deny.

But the game’s appeal is as universal as it gets in sport, and it wasn’t hard to detect a feel-good factor across the country yesterday following Thursday night’s dramatic win for Scotland in a World Cup qualifying match at Hampden.

Scots do love sport, and there’s nothing quite like a big win for our national football or rugby teams. Thursday was one of those nights.

Sure, it’s just a game, but it unites the country and can spark great joy about celebration in times when we can all need a lift.

But the feel-good factor could be short-lived if the national team can’t pull off another win in Slovenia tomorrow, because that is what is required to keep alive the dream of qualifying for the World Cup finals for the first time in 20 years.

We congratulate national team manager Gordon Strachan and his players after their thrilling and deserved victory over Slovakia on an electric night in Glasgow, and wish them all the best for tomorrow’s fixture in Ljubljana. If the team can do it, we will witness another extraordinary sight: the entire country going to work on Monday morning with a smile on its face.