Tartan Army urged to note Foreign Office hotline ahead of Euro 2024

Up to 150,000 Scotland fans are expected to be in Germany - but there will be help available from home should they need it.

Foreign Office hotline to provide support for Tartan Army at Euro 2024 SNS Group

Scotland supporters have been encouraged to pay attention to travel advice from the Foreign Office, and take note of a helpline staffed by Scots, when they travel to Germany for the Euros this summer.

As many as 150,000 Scots are expected to make the trip to support the national team as they play in their first major finals overseas since the World Cup in France in 1998.

Ahead of the tournament, which will see Scotland face hosts Germany in the showpiece opening game before matches against Switzerland in Cologne and Hungary in Stuttgart, the Foreign Office has said that their team in East Kilbride stands ready to offer assistance to fans through a direct hotline.

Supporters can access support at any time of the day or night by calling +44 (0)20 7008 5000, where they can get advice and help on any difficulties they encounter on their travels.

Ed Bossley, who heads the consular contact centre in East Kilbride, told STV they have already made preparations to give fans all the support they need.

“We’re expecting to see an increase in calls over the period of the Euros,” he said.

“It’s normal for a big sporting event that there will be a lot of people there. Inevitably some things happen.

“People might lose their passport or they might suffer some sort of accident, so we will be preparing for that.

“We prepare ahead of tournaments for things to go wrong, we are practicing call handling skills and the sort of calls we might get if things go wrong in Germany.”

Bossley advised Scotland fans to read the Foreign Office travel tips ahead of the tournament, and to be aware of any new advice before or during their trip.

“The most common thing people call about is they lose their passport which can be really disruptive when you’re overseas, but we can give advice to get you a travel document which will get you home and that can be done quickly,” he explained.

“Other things we are expecting to see is without travel insurance it becomes difficult if you become hospitalised and you don’t have travel insurance, things get expensive.

“Be respectful of the country you’re in. There will be police there and the best advice I would give is to follow the advice of the local authorities.

“The best source of information is on our website – gov.uk has a huge amount of information and travel advice, with special advice for the Euros. If you google Euro 2024 we will be the top hit.

“I would check your passport before you go and make sure you have sufficient validity to enter Germany.

“On travel advice, make sure you sign up for the alerts that will ensure you see any updates to the advice. Lastly I would say have a think about the cultural sensitivities that exist in Germany as well.”

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke, who is expected to name his squad for the finals next week, urged fans to follow the advice so they can give the team the best possible backing in Germany.

He said: “The Scotland supporters are renowned for the atmosphere they bring to major tournaments when they travel abroad and I know how much the fans are looking forward to the action kicking off in Germany.

“I would encourage all Scotland supporters to follow the UK Government’s travel advice to ensure that they are well prepared to join in the fun when it kicks off.”

And Martin Riddell, chair of the Association of Tartan Army Clubs, has also reminded fans to keep across the travel advice.

“The Tartan Army gets behind the Scotland team at every match we play,” Riddell said. “We’re well used to using planes, trains and automobiles when we are coming down the road.

“But this summer we all need to be on the ball when it comes to knowing entry requirements and travel advice to make sure Euro2024 is as successful off the pitch as Steve Clarke’s team.”

Foreign Secretary David Cameron said: “Some of the world’s best players will be in Germany for what promises to be an amazing tournament.

“We know that football fans from across the UK will be travelling to Germany to enjoy the wonderful event the hosts will provide.

“We ask that those travelling take a look at the travel advice to make sure they have the best experience possible.”

Travelling Scotland fans will be able to contact the FCDO by phone 24/7 on +44 (0)20 7008 5000 or by calling the Embassy locally on +49 (0)30 204570. Fans in Germany can access the German emergency services by dialling 112.

Fans planning to travel elsewhere in the region should check the Euro 2024 travel advice for each location they plan to visit or transit through.

Fans can also stay updated by following Travel Aware social channels.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code