COP26 forces Scotland under-21s into venue change as they bid to reach Euro 2023 finals

Scotland under-21 head coach Scot Gemmill has revealed why COP26 will entail some extra mileage for his squad next month.

Scotland under-21 coach Scot Gemmill pictured during a training session at Oriam in Edinburgh. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

The young Scots have played the majority of their home games in the past decade in the central belt, initially at St Mirren Park in Paisley before a more recent residency at Tynecastle where they will host Denmark in a UEFA Euro 2023 qualifier on Thursday night.

But for their subsequent fixtures against Kazakhstan and Belgium in November, the under-21s have been forced to relocate to Tannadice because of the COP26 summit being staged in Glasgow.

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“I don’t know if it’s secret or not, but I’ll tell you anyway,” said Gemmill. “Because of the climate change summit in Glasgow, all the hotel rooms in the central belt are booked out so we had to look for a different venue for the games and different accommodation for ourselves and the visiting teams.

“But it’s a fantastic opportunity for fans in a different part of the country to come and see the team. It’s also a good experience for the players to train and play in different environments, because that’s what happens at international level.

“We need to deal with Denmark on Thursday first but when it turns to November, we will be very excited to go and play at Tannadice.”

Gemmill suffered a blow ahead of facing the Danes with Aberdeen right-back Calvin Ramsey and Bologna left-back Aaron Hickey both withdrawing from his squad because of injury. No replacements have been called up as Scotland look to build on their 1-1 draw in Turkey which opened their Group I campaign last month.

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