The plea to be put on a level playing field with other nations was made by the Celtic and Scotland captain Gemma Fay after the narrowest of failures to qualify for Euro 2013 in Sweden. Robison, who is Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said: "The great success of our women's team will bring its benefits, and I am keen to work with the Scottish Football Association to see what more can be done to market and profile the game in the right way.
"We recognise the importance of investing in football, and funding for youth, grassroots and women's football has increased considerably. I welcome any move to support our national women's team, including professional contracts. However, it is for the SFA to decide how professsional contracts should be awarded.
"I am happy to have discussions with relevant parties on how this could be taken forward to support the team."
An SFA spokesman said last night: "We would be delighted to discuss with Shona the possibility of the Scottish Government enhancing their support of women's football."
Speaking after her side had lost 4-3 on aggregate after extra time in Madrid to a team of semi-professional Spanish players attached to La Liga clubs, Fay pointed out that she and her team-mates were combining full-time jobs with gruelling training schedules.
"If they want us to continue to compete at this level they need to fund us," said Fay. "Our ranking in Europe and the world is ridiculously high for an amateur side. We're ahead of teams of full-time professionals."
The rapid growth of women's football, especially in Europe, means more and more nations are fielding teams of full-time players.
Feature. Pages 6, 7