Football debate to kick off festival

FOUR hundred football fans are expected to crowd into the main chamber of the Scottish Parliament to debate the future of the game at the opening event of this year's Festival of Politics.

Organisers hope to put together a panel of politicians and former Scotland football managers to answer questions from fans.

The debate on 17 August will also be broadcast live on the Real Radio Football Phone-in show.

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Plans for the event, first revealed in the Evening News earlier this year, have been drawn up by the parliament's think tank, Scotland's Futures Forum, which aims to look at long-term challenges on a non-party basis.

Deputy presiding officer Trish Godman MSP said: "The future of the national game is hugely important to the fabric of Scottish life and I think it is fitting that the Scottish Parliament hosts this discussion as part of this year's Festival of Politics.

"This event has great potential for a wide community of interest to be developed and a shared understanding of where we want Scottish football to go in the future."

Jay Crawford, programme director for Real Radio Scotland, said: "I'm really looking forward to what I think will be a great evening of discussion and fun in a first for the Football Phone-in."

Tickets will be available through a ballot which can be entered online on the Real Radio website.