DCSIMG

Plans in place over return England-Scotland match

Leighton Baines, right, attempts to get the ball from Scotland's James Forrest. Picture: AP

Leighton Baines, right, attempts to get the ball from Scotland's James Forrest. Picture: AP

  • by ANGUS WRIGHT
 

Plans are already in place for a return match at Hampden Park following Scotland’s 3-2 loss to England at Wembley on Wednesday night in the first meeting between the countries for 14 years.

However, Gordon Strachan’s side won’t be handed the opportunity to avenge the defeat until at least 2015.

Although this week’s match was organised as a one-off challenge game to mark the 150th anniversary of the Football Association, there is a renewed desire to restore the fixture, which was once played annually, to the international calendar following the competitive and enjoyable nature of the midweek clash.

Wednesday’s meeting was the first between the sides since 1999. Regular games between the teams ended in 1989 amid violent scenes on the terraces and in the streets surrounding Wembley and Hampden. However, the behaviour of the Scottish fans was praised yesterday by David Bland, the Scottish Football Association Security and Integrity officer, after he had received a full debrief from his counterpart at the Football

Association in England, as well as from Police Scotland, Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police.

Bland described the conduct of the Scottish fans as “impeccable”. Only two arrests were made outside the stadium on the night.

More than 20,000 Scotland fans were inside Wembley in a crowd of 80,485. Fears that the game might mirror the one-sided nature of the previous night’s clash between both countries’ Under-21 teams – which England won 6-0 – were extinguished as early as the 11th minute, when Scotland midfielder James

Morrison struck the first of the five goals scored in the match.

It is understood that talks had taken place about a game at Hampden in 2015 even before Wednesday’s meeting. While there is a loose arrangement in place both the FA and the SFA prefer to wait until the Euro 2016 draw is out of the way to make sure the teams are not drawn together first. Hampden is also out of bounds next summer because of the Commonwealth Games.

“We have an excellent relationship with the Football Association,” said an SFA spokesman yesterday. “And we have already discussed the possibility of

future internationals. Given the occasion and the history of the fixture we would hope to invite England to Hampden Park in the not too distant future.”

 

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