Nicola Sturgeon said she hopes the next few weeks will bring a “greater degree of confidence” that the Tartan Army can attend Scotland men’s matches at Hampden in the Euros.
The national team qualified for the rescheduled European Championships in November after a penalty shootout victory over Serbia but there are concerns fans may be excluded from the crunch ties in June.
Under current Covid-19 measures, fans remain unable to attend stadiums in Scotland.
The First Minister has come under pressure to ensure matches will be able to go ahead at Scotland’s national stadium during the championship – with fans allowed to attend.
Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, she said: “Nobody wants Scotland to ‘lose the Euros’ and I don’t think we should be in the position now of thinking that’s the case.
“There’s a deadline by which all countries have to give indications to Uefa about what they think will be possible in terms of fans and fan zones, all countries are grappling with this – not just Scotland.
“We’re standing here on March 5 and while we’re really hopeful – and I think you’re getting signs of a lot of optimism from us today – looking too far ahead is just difficult to do.
“But let me be very clear, we are absolutely intent on having the Euros, having Hampden as one of the host stadiums of the Euros.
“We have always been intent on that, let’s say we’re particularly keen on that now that would bring the opportunity to see Scotland play at Hampden as well.
“While nothing in a global pandemic can be certain when you’re looking far into the future, I very, very, very much want, hope – and hopefully over the next few weeks get a greater degree of confidence in saying expect – to be one of many of the Tartan Army fans cheering on Scotland at Hampden.”
Ms Sturgeon added that “we’ve all got a part” to play in making sure games can go ahead at the national stadium by helping to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
National clinical director Jason Leitch said he knew a number of other countries were struggling to provide certainty around this issue.
He added they may be more confident by the time of the deadline in April, but there would have to be an option to “reverse” that decision.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, who is a professional referee, believes the impact of missing out on these fixtures would be “terrible”.
He said: “Public health must always be the number one priority but I would urge the SNP government to get round the table with the footballing authorities as soon as possible.
“Our fans deserve to see Euros matches kick off in Scotland and every effort must be put into making sure that happens.
“The UK’s world-leading vaccine rollout has made the possible return of fans possible. Let’s hope the SNP get this right and find a solution.”