Aberdeen will be forced to miss out on hosting international matches if plans for a new stadium at Kingsford are blocked, the Scottish FA has warned.
Aberdeenshire Council last week reiterated its objection to the plans for a new £50 million stadium and training complex, with the Dons seeking to leave their current home of Pittodrie.
A specially convened meeting will be held ion 29 Janaury to rule on the plans.
SFA chief executive Stewart Regan has backed the proposals, insisting that the new development would keep Aberdeen in the running for hosting future Scotland international matches.
Pittodrie is currently unable to fulfil top level criteria on both a domestic and European grade.
“Pittodrie can only ever achieve the silver level of the Scottish FA’s licensing regime because of its field and dressing room dimensions, spectator areas, the provision for disabled fans and the media facilities,” said Regan.
“And with the introduction of the Uefa Nations League replacing international friendlies, last year’s match against the Netherlands could be the last time [Aberdeen] will host a Scotland international.”
This, Regan added, further underlined the importance of a new arena in the city ‘to enhance Aberdeen’s ability to host internationals and European football.’
Both the SFA and the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) have given their backing to the new development, and the SPFL chief Neil Doncaster echoed his SFA counterpart’s comments.
“Aberdeen is the dominant footballing force in the north east and its role in developing the next generation of talented Scottish footballers makes these elite training facilities essential.
“It’s difficult to overstate the positive impact this development will have on the region’s sporting performance. The proposed development would further strengthen the city’s position as a Scottish sporting powerhouse.”
If Aberdeen are forced to remain at Pittodrie and thus unable to host European matches, the Dons could end up playing these fixtures in Glasgow or Edinburgh, or at Dundee’s new stadium provided it gets the green light.
Dons chairman Stewart Milne remained optimistic over the proposal, and said: “Hopefully, it is third time lucky. We believe we’ve put forward a very, very strong case for Kingsford.”