Wednesday 22 March 2017

MSP attacks World Cup support error

An MSP has hit out over Fifa restrictions on Backing England's World Cup bid
An MSP has hit out over Fifa restrictions on Backing England's World Cup bid

Scots who back England's bid to host the 2018 Fifa World Cup cannot register their support for their national team or clubs, a Nationalist MSP has said.

Stewart Maxwell said the glitch on the Fifa website could deter Scots from backing the bid.

The site contains a form for supporters to register their support for the bid by providing details including their name and age along with their country, age and the team they support.

But although Scotland is listed as a country, the devolved nation's team and world famous clubs such as Celtic and Rangers are not. However, the site allows supporters to select teams such as England, Egypt, Mexico and popular English clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool.

Mr Maxwell said the same restrictions applied to supporters from Wales and Northern Ireland. The West of Scotland MSP has written to bid chairman Geoff Thompson to express his concern.

Mr Maxwell wrote he was "perplexed" that "very patriotic" Scottish football fans are unable to formally register their support as fans of the Scottish national team or for domestic football clubs.

He wrote: "I am concerned that football supporters from Scotland will be put off from backing England's bid to host the World Cup unless they can officially add their support as fans of the Scottish national team.

"It seems to me that many Scottish supporters of England's bid will be frustrated that supporters from Tahiti or Nigeria can register their support as fans of their own country, but Scotland fans cannot."

Mr Maxwell added that with fewer than 100 days until decision day on December 2, "England needs all the support it can" and urged Mr Thompson to take action "as soon as possible to enable Scottish football fans ... to register their support for England's bid as fans of their respective national teams".

The MSP said that hosting such a prestigious tournament was a great opportunity for Scottish football fans "to experience it first hand".

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