Party leaders wish Scotland team and Tartan Army luck at Euro 2024

Scotland’s political leaders have joined together to send their best wishes to the men’s football team ahead of Euro 2024.

Steve Clarke’s team will take on Germany on Friday evening in the opening game of the tournament, with tens of thousands of members of the Tartan Army having made the trip to Munich to cheer on their heroes.

First Minister John Swinney will attend the match, and he said he is looking forward to “being present to encourage the Scotland team”.

Speaking at the start of First Minister’s Questions in Holyrood on Thursday, the SNP leader said: “It is great to see Scotland back in Europe where we rightly belong.

Scotland players during a training session
The Scotland team will take on hosts Germany in the opening match of Euro 2024 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“As First Minister I want to wish Steve Clarke’s team the best of luck and wish the huge numbers of Scotland supporters making the journey a safe and memorable trip.

“I know the Tartan Army will be an absolute credit to Scotland. I know the team will be a credit to Scotland because they have inspired so many of us by their success in getting to Euro 2024.”

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross also wished the team – and the fans – good luck ahead of Friday’s kick-off.

He added: “The Tartan Army have travelled in huge numbers to support Steve Clarke and the team and I know we will all be cheering them on to success.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “Can I join others in wishing manager Steve Clarke, captain Andy Robertson, vice-captain John McGinn and the entire men’s Scotland team all the very best for the Euros, and also wish the Tartan Army a safe and enjoyable visit to Germany.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “This is a huge moment for Scotland.

“It’s a massive tournament and we’ve waited so long for this.

“It’s so exciting for fans across Scotland and the hundreds of thousands making the trip to Germany.

“So, to the team, to Steve Clarke and to the whole Tartan Army – you’ve got this, make us proud, good luck lads.”

Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater said: “Scotland have really gone from strength to strength over the last few years – getting to Germany, beating Spain along the way, Steve Clarke and all the players have done an amazing job.

“The team’s already done Scotland proud, and we’re all right behind you.”

Their comments came after Mr Swinney said Scotland returning to the European Union as an independent country would be the “next best thing” to the team getting to the final of Euro 2024.

The SNP leader had earlier unveiled an election campaign billboard in Edinburgh with the slogan: “Scotland back in Europe. As we should be. Good luck to the boys.”

The First Minister said: “Tomorrow, Scotland will be back in Europe – as we should be.

“I have every confidence that we can go all the way to the final of Euro 2024.

“But on the off chance that Scotland don’t win the Euros, the SNP is offering Scotland the next best thing – a permanent route back into Europe as an independent nation.”