Excitement builds as Euro 2020 kick-off nears for Scotland

Scotland return to a major tournament for the first time since 1998 at 2pm on Monday.

Scotland fans are gathering across the country as the national men’s team returns to a major tournament for the first time in 23 years.

12,000 supporters have been allowed into Hampden for our Euro 2020 opener against Czech Republic, which kicks off at 2pm.

Fans were starting to filter into the stadium on Monday morning with ticket-holders being given staggered entry times, while the squad arrived just after midday.

Another 6000 will watch on big screens at the official fan zone in Glasgow Green – while millions of others will be tuning in from home or in pubs.

Excitement levels are through the roof for the return to football’s biggest stage – Scotland’s last tournament was the 1998 World Cup in France.

Scotland fans at SWG3.SNS Group
These young Scotland fans were flying the flag in Linlithgow.STV News
These fans can't wait for kick off.SNS Group
Scotland fans make their way into Hampden.SNS Group
This Scotland fan wasn't letting crutches stop him from enjoying the occasion. STV News
Young Scotland fan Arthur was in the mood bright and early this morning.STV News
Party time for these members of the Tartan Army.STV News
The Open Goal podcast's Boogie Bus was out on the streets of Glasgow.SNS Group

‘Come on, Scotland!’

Good luck messages have been pouring in from celebrities, other sportspeople and politicians, including the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the Krankies and Judy Murray.

Sturgeon also urged fans to follow Covid regulations while supporting the team.

 “I’m the one that’s got to say it of course – we’re still in the Covid pandemic,” she said.

“So as you enjoy, we hope, lots and lots of Scotland goals, please try and do it safely, for your own sake but for those you love as well.”

Scotland will also play England at Wembley on Friday before returning to Hampden to meet Croatia on Tuesday, June 22. Both of those games are live on STV and the STV Player.

The competition’s format means winning just one of the three games might be enough to reach the knockout stages for the first time in the country’s history.

Scotland last met the Czechs at home in October last year when an early Ryan Fraser goal secured a 1-0 win in the Nations League.

Tartan Army back in their seats

Manager Steve Clarke said his squad couldn’t wait to play in front of a Hampden crowd again.

“The players are really looking forward to having supporters back in the stadium,” he said.

This Scotland supporter was soaking up the atmosphere nice and early.SNS Group

“We’ve had a little taste of it when we went to Israel and we played in front of a crowd. It was good to have an atmosphere in the stadium.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had supporters at Hampden Park so it should make for a great atmosphere and a great game, with hopefully a good result for us.”

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