Qualifying matches should be free to watch

Evening Telegraph (Late Extra Edition) - - YOURVOICE - Alex Orr.

AS Scot­land crash out of yet an­other World Cup cam­paign, it is note­wor­thy to re­flect that view­ers of our na­tional team were not able to watch their coun­try play on ter­res­trial TV.

There can be few other coun­tries where fans are left watch­ing their neigh­bour­ing na­tion, Eng­land in Scot­land’s case, play on ter­res­trial TV, while they are forced to watch their own coun­try play on sub­scrip­tion-based TV.

While Scot­land man­aged a last gasp win over Slo­vakia, Scots view­ers were left sam­pling the de­lights of Eng­land v Slove­nia on STV.

More and more sport is sadly mov­ing to sub­scrip­tion-based TV chan­nels. The BBC lost the rights to show The Open golf to Sky and fans want­ing to watch Euro­pean foot­ball have to tune in to BT Sport.

It’s un­der­stand­able the SFA will want to do a deal with the high­est bid­der, but con­sid­er­ing Eng­land qual­i­fiers are shown for free on ITV, there’s no rea­son why Scot­land games can’t be shown on one or more ter­res­trial chan­nels.

We want chil­dren in Scot­land to be in­spired and a deal for fu­ture qual­i­fi­ca­tion matches on ter­res­trial could help us to pro­duce the stars of the fu­ture.

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