Tartan Army to attend Qatar tie with ‘heavy heart’

The Tartan Army celebrate a victory at  Hampden Park. Picture: Neil Hanna

The Tartan Army celebrate a victory at Hampden Park. Picture: Neil Hanna

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A TARTAN Army spokesman says the Scotland supporters who attend tonight’s controversial friendly against Qatar will do so with a “heavy heart”.

Although there is no official boycott of the Easter Road clash over severe criticisms of the Gulf state’s human rights record, Hamish Husband insists some fans have turned their back on the match.

Qatar has come in for fierce condemnation over reports that 1,200 workers have already died during the building of infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup, although that figure is disputed. The recent Fifa crisis has also cast doubt on the legitimacy of the vote that led to the oil-rich country being handed football’s biggest tournament.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay even called for the clash, which takes place eight days before the vital Euro 2016 qualifier in Ireland, to be scrapped – forcing the Scottish FA to defend their decision to arrange the fixture.

Tartan Army spokesman Husband admits he is not comfortable attending this evening’s match.

He said: “It’s not an official boycott but a lot of fans have made the decision that they won’t be going.

“The West of Scotland Tartan Army are running a bus from Glasgow to the game and many of us are going with heavy hearts due to the issues surrounding Qatar.

“I’m going to the game but I am a bit reluctant. Many fans welcomed the statement from the SFA and are looking for further information on their plans.”

The match at Easter Road is not expected to sell out despite a cut-price ticket offer. Adults tickets are available for £15 and children’s tickets are £5.

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has refused to be drawn into the debate over the staging of the fixture.

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