Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football European

SPL postpones games to aid Scotland's cause

By Nick Harris

Alex McLeish has been granted his wish after the Scottish Premier League agreed to postpone the matches involving Rangers and Celtic on the weekend before the crucial Euro 2008 qualifier against Italy.

The SPL has called off Celtic's home match against Falkirk on 10 November, and Rangers' fixture at St Mirren on 11 November, and both games will be rearranged for future dates.

However, there was some reluctance from the SPL who voiced its displeasure that the SFA had declined to help with the costs involved in rearranging the fixtures.

Scotland face Italy on 17 November at Hampden, and six of the Old Firm players would be expected to make Scotland's strongest starting XI.

If Scotland beat Italy, they are guaranteed a place at Euro 2008. Lose, and they cannot make it.

However, SPL executive chairman Lex Gold said: "It is a matter of considerable disappointment that the SFA has refused to help defray the costs which will be incurred by our clubs. Postponing games at short notice is fraught with fairness, inconvenience, broadcasting and cost implications.

"We recognise, in particular, that this decision will inconvenience many fans. Our wish is to do all we can to support the efforts of the Scotland team at a critical point and trust the fans will understand the exceptional circumstances."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph