Lee Gibson insists Scotland will focus on football ahead of Israel games

Friday's match will be played behind closed doors at Hampden for security reasons.

Lee Gibson insists Scotland will focus on football ahead of Israel games SNS Group

Scotland goalkeeper Lee Gibson has stressed the squad will stick to football and leave the politics to others as they prepare for a Women’s Euro 2025 qualifying double-header with Israel.

Scotland’s home game will take place at an empty Hampden Park on Friday night after a decision was taken to refund ticket holders following intelligence over planned disruptions. Israel’s ‘home’ match will be played in Budapest four days later.

Protests are planned outside Hampden amid Israel’s ongoing offensive on Gaza where more than 36,000 people have been killed, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, and about 80 per cent of the population has been displaced.

Speaking from a training camp in Spain, Gibson said: “We’ve obviously pretty much just tried to focus on the footballing side.

“We understand that, on the operational side, both the Scottish FA and UEFA have been in constant contact on how best to approach the game and we turn up as a squad.

“We’re obviously abroad at the moment and trying to get those couple of sessions in before we play the game, but our full focus is, as in any other European qualifier, just to make sure that we take six points out of six.”

When asked if the players were comfortable competing against Israel, the 32-year-old said: “Everybody is fully focused. Arriving together, make sure that we put on performances again.

“Of course, we know that it is going to be behind closed doors, which is obviously a different prospect that we’re not used to and it’s a shame that we don’t get to have our home fans there, but we are aware that for the safety of everyone, which is obviously paramount, they made that decision.

“As players we turn up, we perform for our national team and we are certainly not involved in politics or anything like that. So we just have to turn up together as a squad and try our best to just try and be footballers.”

When asked about her own personal feelings, the Glasgow City player said: “I am here to play football essentially. Obviously I know what’s going on at the moment, but we have been guided by the SFA and as a collective we just want to make sure that we play these games to try and get us into the Euros.”

The Glasgow-based Gaza Genocide Emergency Committee has called for protesters to gather outside Hampden on Friday to call for Israel to be expelled from international football.

Gibson said: “We’ve obviously been told that could happen, but we just have to focus on the game itself and what we can do? We are footballers and our main priority is to make sure that when we go on the pitch we perform and everything else is obviously dealt with by the SFA. As footballers, obviously we just want to stick to football.”

Meanwhile, Scotland head coach Pedro Martinez Losa has reiterated his commitment to his role amid reports linking the former Bordeaux manager with a move to Lyon.

Gibson said: “He’s addressed the squad. It’s football, speculation is always around managers, and he’s reiterated that he’s committed here and we’ve had that clarity.”

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