Scotland v Georgia game suspended after torrential rain at Hampden

The Euro 2024 qualifier at the national stadium was stopped for over 90 minutes.

Scotland game suspended after torrential rain in Euro 2024 qualifier against Georgia SNS Group

Scotland’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Georgia was suspended for over 90 minutes after torrential rain at Hampden flooded the pitch.

A heavy downpour in Mount Florida left visible surface water as the crucial match kicked off but players found it difficult to pass the ball in the early stages.

After it became apparent that conditions were seriously affecting play, the match officials took the decision to pause the match.

In the hour before kick-off, around 15mm of rain fell at Hampden, equivalent to the normal amount in six days at Hampden.

Following work by the grounds staff at the stadium, and a series of checks on the playing surface, action was set to re-start after an 80-minute delay. However, there was a further delay when Georgia’s players didn’t come out of their dressing room while the Scotland team was already on the pitch awaiting kick-off.

That situation was resolved and play resumed more than 95 minutes after it had been called to a halt.

By the time of the stoppage, Scotland had already taken the lead, with Callum McGregor putting his side ahead.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 20: Scotland's Ryan Porteous and Georgia's Luka Gagnidze during a UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier between Scotland and Georgia at Hampden Park, on June 20, 2023, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Play stopped, with supporters thinking the goal was to be checked by VAR officials but referee Istvan Vad held discussions with officials and the captains of both teams before calling the match to a halt.

The PA system at the national stadium then announced a 20-minute suspension as ground staff attempted to sweep excess water away.

Travis’ single ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’ was played over the tannoy system as staff worked on the playing surface.

After a subsequent pitch inspection found the surface was still not considered safe, a further delay until 8.35pm was confirmed.

Match officials conducted a further check at that point and it was then announced that players would return to the pitch at 8.45pm to warm up, after which a decision would be taken on a restart.

At 9pm, fans cheered an announcement that the game was scheduled to get under way again at 9.15pm if there was no further heavy rain.

After the delay from the Georgia players, action finally resumed at 9,35pm, leaving many of the sell-out crowd at Hampden facing likely difficulties in getting home after the final whistle.

Goals from McGregor and Scott McTominay ensured a 2-0 win for Scotland, keeping their hopes of reaching next year’s European Championship finals on track.

Following the final whistle, the Scottish FA thanked fans for their patience.

Scotland manager Steve Clarke said: “On behalf of my staff and players I’d like to thank the fans who stayed with us despite the horrendous weather and the uncertainty over whether the match would be able to continue.

“As a group we wanted to finish the game and make sure the fans weren’t inconvenienced further by having to come back tomorrow.

“Your unwavering support played a huge role in an important victory in the group, in challenging conditions against a tough Georgia side. Thank you and see you in September.”

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA chief executive, added: “We apologise to fans whose travel plans were affected by the interruptions caused by heavy rainfall.

“I’d like to echo the comments made by Steve and the players in thanking the fans for staying with us and I’d like to thank the ground staff, ball attendants and volunteers for doing their bit to make sure the game resumed.”

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 20: Pitch staff try to clear the water off the park during a UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier between Scotland and Georgia at Hampden Park, on June 20, 2023, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

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