Pedro Martinez Losa’s side discovered their European Championships qualifying route this week but it will not be plain sailing on or off the park.

The Scots will kick off their campaign away to Serbia on Friday 5 April before welcoming Slovakia to Hampden Park four days later.

They have one Friday night home game which kicks off the double-header against Israel on 31 May, before heading to Slovakia on 12 July and finishing on the 16th against Serbia. 

There are no games scheduled for June which makes sense as they look to avoid a clash with Steve Clarke’s side who are, of course, in Germany for the Euros.

However, the issues could come with the home game against Israel. The teams last met back in 2012 when Anna Signeul’s side thumped Israel 8-0 at Tynecastle.

The game, though, was more notable for the protesters who turned up to voice their displeasure about the detention of Palestinian players as they made their feelings clear throughout the game. 

The then Israeli captain and manager were given short shrift in the aftermath of the game when they attempted to head in the direction of the protesters after the game. 

Given what has taken place in Gaza since then one can only imagine that the possibility for protest and increased tension will be ramped up for that meeting.

And while there will be arguments presented for keeping sport and politics apart, the bottom line is that football does not exist in a vacuum. This has been witnessed time and time again at different snapshots in history from the influence of Muhammad Ali to Tommie Smith and John Carlos whose Black Power salute became one of the iconic and enduring images of that period.

Indeed, taking the knee became commonplace in football only very recently following Colin Kaepernick’s quiet protest on an NFL pitch while support for Ukraine was widespread across Europe in the aftermath of Vladimir Putin’s actions.

There has been support for Palestine at various demonstrations up and down the country since the conflict escalated exponentially in October while there has also been support shown at football grounds, most notably Celtic Park.

The club were caught in a difficult situation that has concluded this week with Israeli winger Liel Abada heading to the MLS, an end to what had become an intolerable situation for the 22-year-old.

Celtic fans bucked an appeal from the club’s hierarchy to desist from showing Palestinian flags when they played Atletico Madrid in the Champions League back in November with the bulk of the stadium showing its support. That resulted in a UEFA fine but the optics of the situation left Abada in a complicated position. 

For Scotland and Pedro Martinez Losa’s side, the suspicion is that they will play their European qualifier against Israel against a background of tension with protesters using the game to make their voice heard.


Jo Potter signed an extension to her current contract this week at Rangers with the move to bring the former England internationalist to Glasgow this summer increasingly looking like a smart piece of business.

Rangers are on track for a domestic treble – Hibs, whom they meet at Meadowbank today in the Scottish Cup quarter-final will have something to say about that, as will Partick Thistle who they face in the Sky Sports final at Tynecastle later this month – while they are four points clear at the top of the table.

They have yet to be beaten this season.

For a team who finished third and lost the Scottish Cup on the last day of the season back in May at Hampden to Celtic, it has been quite the turnaround.

There has been investment in players with Rachel Rowe the best player in the league this term while Rio Hardy’s goal have been equally notable. Jane Ross returning from long-term injury for the league’s return in January has also been to Rangers’ benefit but there is a cohesion and a calmness that has come from them this term.

It seems sensible to secure Potter on a long-term deal since her exploits may well attract attention from elsewhere given how improved Rangers have been this year. 


A report this week suggested that the women’s game could exploit a loophole in the alcohol licensing laws which would allow booze to be sold at games.

The current ban on drinking within stadia goes all the way to the riot in the aftermath of the 1980 Scottish Cup final with no leeway given since then.

There is surely scope for an adult conversation around drinking at football games – and it is a part of the day out for rugby supporters who can enjoy a pint on their day out to Murrayfield  – but going in the back door through the SWPL isn’t the way to do it.

Football fans, also, do not help their argument when there are missiles thrown at players during games as we witnessed only as recently as the last Edinburgh derby when Hearts striker Lawrence Shankland was subject of a ‘fan’ throwing a corkscrew onto the pitch.

A pie is one thing, but a sharp object thrown at pace quite another. So long as there are instances such as these going on it will make it difficult to present a compelling argument in favour of allowing fans a couple of pints during a game.