Poll: More than a third of Scots want England to lose every game

Scotland take on England at Hampden Park in 2017. Picture: Michael Gillen
Scotland take on England at Hampden Park in 2017. Picture: Michael Gillen
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It’s a sporting rivalry that stretches back more than a century.

But now the level of enmity Scots show towards the England football team has been revealed, with a new poll by YouGov finding that more than a third of respondents actively want Gareth Southgate’s side to lose every game they play at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The pollsters found only 13 per cent of Scots want England to win football’s biggest prize, in contrast to the 65 per cent of English people who want their home nation to triumph in Moscow.

When presented with a scenario where England were playing an international friendly against a non-British team a total of 35 per cent of Scots said they would actively want England to lose. Such a stance is commonly referred to on social media as ‘ABE’ - Anyone But England.

A further 30% of Scots said that they wouldn’t be supporting England in Russia and couldn’t care less about their results.

In contrast, only seven per cent of Scots said they would want Wales or Northern Ireland to lose in any given game.

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The survey did find 20 per cent of Scots would support their English neighbours.

Scotland’s enmity is not reciprocated - only 10 per cent of English people would want Scotland to lose in the same international friendly scenario, while 28% would lend them their support.

Scotland has failed to qualify for a World Cup since crashing out in the first round in 1998.

Tartan Army fans can at least console themselves that international football began north of the Border. The first recognised game was played between Scotland and England at the Hamilton Crescent cricket ground in Partick on November 30, 1872. The match, which was watched by more than 4,000 paying spectators, finished 0-0.