The nation of Scotland is usually represented in major international competitions by the Scotland national football team. All of the football activities in Scotland are usually managed by the Scottish football association. This national team is the one which competes on behalf of Scotland on the UEFA European champion and FIFA World Cup. The national team of Scotland is not allowed to participate in Olympic Games since it is not an associate of the International Olympic Committee. Hampden Park is the national stadium of Scotland where most of the Scottish national team home matches are usually played. Scottish national team is known to be the oldest national team in the world alongside England national team. The two teams played the first ever national match in the history of football in the year 1872. The common rivalry between England and Scotland began in 1872. Between the year 1872 and 1989, the two teams have been clashing annually. Since then, they have only met in five encounters with the most recent one being in November 2014. Scotland has managed to qualify for FIFA World Cup in eight instances. They have also managed to qualify for the UEFA European Championship on two occasions. However, the team has never progressed past the group stage of an international championships tournament.
As earlier stated, Scotland national football team is known to be the oldest ever football team ever alongside England national football team. Their first match was against England in an encounter that ended in a barren draw. All the players who participated in that match were from Queens Park- an armature club in Glasgow, the Scottish capital. In the next forty years, the Scottish side has been playing matches entirely against other Home teams such as Wales and Ireland. In their first 43 international encounters, Scotland only lost two games. The 1903 2-0 lose against Ireland was the first ever match Scotland lost against a team other than England. Ever since the establishment of British Home Championship, Scotland has managed to emerge champions on 24 events. Another remarkable performance of the Scottish side was in the year 1928 against England. Scotland thrashed England in a 5-1 win which influenced the nick name ‘’Wembley wizards’’. Scotland played their first match outside the British soil in the year 1929. The match was against Norway where Scotland emerged victorious in a thrill 7-3 win at Bergen. Just like other home nations, Scotland did not participate in three FIFA World cups which took place in the 1930s. This is because the four football management bodies failed to agree with FIFA on a matter regarding the payment of amateur players. However, Scotland returned to be under FIFA after the Second World War. To celebrate this new understanding, a match was played at Hampden Park in 1947 which featured a United Kingdom team and ‘’the rest of the world’’ team.
FIFA World Cup
Even after their reconciliation with FIFA, Scotland national team did not participate in the 1950 and 1954 FIFA World Cup competitions. This is because they could not meet the SFA World Cup qualification standards. According to SFA, only the champions of the British Home Championship were eligible to qualify for the world cup. During the 1950 and 1954 competitions, Scotland finished second to England and hence locked out of the world’s major football event. However, in the year 1958, Scotland had a chance to play in the FIFA World Cup. In this competition, Scotland was held in a 1-1 draw against Yugoslavian. They then lost their subsequent matches to France and Paraguay. They were eliminated from the competition in the first rounds of play. The Scottish side had their best performance in a World Cup competition in the year 1974. They managed to stay unbeaten in all their group stages matches, but they were eliminated due to goal difference. Scotland qualified for the 1978 world cup after they defeated Czechoslovakia and Wales in the qualifiers. They seemed to have a promising tournament, but it wasn’t so. They were again eliminated on goal difference during the first round of the competition. They also qualified for the 1990 World Cup, but then they were again eliminated in the first round of the competition. Ever since they have never participated in any FIFA World Cup event.
Scotland football team currently
In the recent past, Scotland national team has been somehow a disappointment to the fans. This is because they failed to qualify the UEFA Euro 2016 competition. They have been grouped with England in the group qualifications of the 2018 World Cup competition. A lot is expected from the Scottish side but only time will tell whether they will step up their game or remain a disappointing side as seen in the recent past.