Rugby beats football in attendance battle as 21,000 more fans opt for Scotland's World Cup send-off

Empty seats at Hampden were clearly visible as Scotland took on Russia in an important Euro 2020 qualifier
Empty seats at Hampden were clearly visible as Scotland took on Russia in an important Euro 2020 qualifier
Share this article
0
Have your say

Nearly 21,000 more fans packed into BT Murrayfield to give Gregor Townsend's Scotland side a rousing send-off ahead of the Rugby World Cup than witnessed a must-win Euro 2020 qualifier for the national football team at Hampden Park.

Just 32,433 fans turned up at the 52,000-capacity stadium in Glasgow to see Steve Clarke's side go down 2-1 to Stanislav Cherchesov's Russia, while 53,406 were at the Capital arena for the visit of Georgia.

The rugby attendance was some way short of Murrayfield's 67,144 capacity but this was essentially a friendly match, as Scotland played their fourth and final World Cup warm-up game before jetting off to Japan.

Scotland eventually ran out 36-9 winners against a dogged Georgia side, but Townsend will be sweating over the fitness of five players.

Flanker Jamie Ritchie was sent to hospital; full-back Blair Kinghorn and lock Ben Toolis suffered head knocks, and second-row Jonny Gray was withdrawn as a precautionary measure at half-time after feeling tightness in the hamstring which has kept him out of the first three matches in the warm-up series. No 8 Blade Thomson came off later in the game in similar circumstances.

The Scottish FA were still attempting to shift tickets for the Group I clash until two hours before kick-off.

Scotland have now lost three of their opening five Euro 2020 qualifiers, including a shock 3-0 reversal to Kazakhstan in Nursultan.

Steve Clarke is adamant that the qualifying campaign shouldn't be written off just yet, but admits Scotland need to get a result in Belgium.