Scotland manager Steve Clarke has written an open letter to supporters on the day the Dark Blues were supposed to meet Israel in the UEFA Nations League play-offs at Hampden.
With coronavirus having shut-down most of global football and the Scots not in action against Israel until June at the earliest, Clarke said he “wished the circumstances could have been very different”.
However, the boss went to say “as a father and grandfather there are far greater considerations in life right now and far greater responsibilities on all of us” aside from football.
He said he’d written the letter to “recognise” the efforts of the Tartan Army to make the Israel game a sell-out and make plans to follow the team for their potential play-off final in Serbia or Norway, adding: “It would have been an incredibly proud night for me and the whole team and we would have given every ounce to be on that plane to Norway or Serbia.
“I know thousands of you had also booked onward travel, ever the optimists. By all accounts Budapest or Berlin would have been the unwitting hosts of Scotland fans awaiting connections to either Oslo or Belgrade.
“That sense of togetherness, loyalty and commitment is needed in our lives now, more than ever before.”
Clarke said the key to getting football back on sooner rather than later was following Government social distancing advice over Covid-19.
He explained: “The First Minister and the Chief Medical Officer have been clear in outlining exactly what the nation must do to combat the virus that has become a global pandemic. I urge all of you to heed that advice: stay indoors, protect your family, and protect others. Stay home, save lives. Simple.
“Football is our national sport and its absence has had the same effect on me that it has had for every lover of the game in this country. The sooner we all take the advice on board to stay at home, the sooner we can get back to our own normality of midweek nights and weekend afternoons among friends, at our spiritual homes across the country.
“That is for later, as is our match against Israel, whenever the authorities consider it appropriate – and above all, safe – to resume football across the world.
“In the meantime, I will be thinking of you tonight and imagining what might have been and what could yet be.
“Stay healthy, stay safe, most importantly stay home.