Scotland centurions Love and Dieke to be recognised by Uefa

Ifeoma Dieke, left, and Jo Love with their Uefa caps. Picture: SNS
Ifeoma Dieke, left, and Jo Love with their Uefa caps. Picture: SNS
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TWO of Scotland’s footballing stalwarts will be recognised by Uefa on Friday night when they receive special cap presentations at the Euro 2017 qualifier against Belarus at Fir Park.

Midfielder Jo Love and central defender Ifeoma Dieke are among ten Scotland women who have passed the 100-cap milestone. Having introduced such awards for men in 2011, Uefa are extending the scheme to women footballers as well.

“It’s a great honour for both of us,” said Love who, at the age of 29, is Scotland’s most capped outfield player ever, with 162.

Only seven countries in the world have more 100-cap women footballers than Scotland. Aside from Love and Dieke, the others who will receive cap awards during the Euro 2017 campaign are Pauline Hamill, Julie Fleeting, Suzanne Grant, Rhonda Jones, Megan Sneddon, Gemma Fay, Leanne Ross and Kim Little.

Celtic goalkeeper Fay is the record holder with 185 and counting.

None of these players has ever reached the finals of a major championship, but some have experienced, not once but three times, the devastation of being eliminated in play-offs.

A favourable draw should see this unhappy trend rectified with a place in Euro 2017. The Scots got their campaign off to a winning 3-0 start in Slovenia last month, and now face Belarus and Macedonia, away, in a double header.