England are under the impression that they are the host team of a sporadic European Championship. Because of the schedule – if they reach the final they can play six of their seven matches at Wembley – and because of restrictions on movement due to the pandemic, which condemns visitors to seeing themselves almost alone on the field. Unless the visitor, like Friday, is Scotland, within the borders of the United Kingdom and the territory of the Tartan Army, the Tartan Army, the plaid fabric with which the skirts are made, and the typical Scottish skirts I have seen one of the most traveled and distinguished hobbies since France 98.
The organization sold them only 2,600 of the 22,500 tickets available, but London Mayor Sadiq Khan feared for days to find more than 20,000 Scots roaming the city, in the expected torrential rain. In addition, the capital maintains capacity restrictions in pubs, and Trafalgar Square, a traditional meeting area for visitors, is intended for a group of essential workers to watch the meeting on a giant screen and with social distance. Khan asked them not to come, but all train tickets were sold out.
Indeed, for the tartan army tradition at Wembley, 20,000 isn’t that much either. “In the 1970s, 100,000 Scots could travel to attend this game,” says Harmish Hug, a spokesperson for the clubs that make up the Scottish Kilt Army. Although he won’t be wearing them on Fridays: “Now I’m wearing pants. My mother used to make me wear a kilt when I was a kid and I never liked it.” In the couple’s home, Scotland-England is a longstanding family tradition: “My grandfather and father went to this match for the first time in 1946 in Hampden, with 130,000 people. My father was 13 and since then they get together every two years, which is the time of frequent meeting Then it premiered at Wembley in 1957 and was first brought to Hampden in 1966. I was 8 and was impressed with the crowd. We lost 4-3. That would be No. 28 in Scotland and England. I think I took it on Seriously,” he laughs.
This time it will be different: due to the epidemic, almost no bus trips were organized, which was very common before, and many decided to drive alone. The pair, a 63-year-old social worker, set out on the nearly eight-hour long journey from Ayr, 60km southwest of Glasgow, on Thursday.
He was very tense for a few days. Some of the best memories of his life are ingrained at Wembley. Like the 1977 game: “We won 2-1, and there were about 60,000 or 70,000 Scots on the field. After the invasion after the 1967 game, when we were the first team to beat the 66 world champions and people broke up the grass, we all knew that when we were done, we were We’ll get into the stadium too. There was no question. Some climbed onto the crossbar and broke. The pieces were pulled and we later saw him outside the stadium. The husband recalls, ‘The Scots took him home in their buses.’
“The game means more to the Scots than it does to the English,” he says. “They underestimate us. They talk about the importance of the game – ‘unique’, as Rashford called it – but in fact they only talk about the next round. We only talk about losing to Germany on penalties,” he laughs. “Insha’Allah”.
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