Alan Pattullo's Euro 2020 diary: Uefa's blunder, the BBC's error and why Hampden was no place for Brexiteers

It’s been a long time since people were at a football match and we realise it’s all very exciting, but does Uefa really think bringing in a countdown to denote the end of a warm-up is the way forward?

Scotland fans returned to Hampden for the Euro 2020 opener against Czech Republic. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Scotland fans returned to Hampden for the Euro 2020 opener against Czech Republic. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

This was the case at Hampden yesterday and, we presume, at Euro 2020 matches elsewhere. Supporters are invited to cheer as the clock ticks down. Manufacturing excitement is a sorry concept. At a ground where the Hampden roar was born, it felt like a particularly ghastly development.

BBC error

Frankly Mr Shankly/The BBC cannot spell. There by the grace of God we all but it was distressing to see the BBC misspelling Bill Shankly as Shankley while promoting their coverage of yesterday’s Scotland v Czech Republic match with a slightly outdated Trainspotting rip-off. “Choose Shankley” flashed up on screen. Choose ITV you mean.

Reporters unplugged

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Hampden’s media tribunes were no place for Brexiteers as Scotland began their Euro 2020 campaign in far from electrifying fashion.

Plug boards bolted on to the front of desks initially had many Scottish journalists flummoxed.

That was a consequence of the boards requiring European, two-prong connectors, and not the British three-prong sockets. Uefa have decreed that it is European plugs or nothing – the same goes for Wembley too.

Goodness knows what Nigel Farage would make of this development. Fortunately, Scotland’s football reporters are a more rounded and outward-looking species. No major diplomatic incident took place as they happily accepted their free UK-to-European adaptors included in reporter gift bags.

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Vaccinators awol

If a dip in the effort to ramp up the vaccination programme across Glasgow is detected over the coming days, first minister Nicola Sturgeon might be able to point to the Euro 2020 jamboree at Hampden.

At 9am yesterday, unusually large queues confronted those due to receive their jags at the SSE Hydro.

No-one in the snaking lines - most returning for their second injection - could quite understand why.

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That was until they made it to the booths, which usually number around 20. Only a third of them were staffed yesterday.

Much to the dismay of the medic in charge of the operation. “Seems like a lot of people haven’t turned up for their work today,” she lamented. “I wonder why that is…”

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