Scottish FA aim for test event with fans in September

London (AFP) –


The Scottish Football Association (SFA) is hoping for the Nations League clash against Israel on September 4 can be a test event for the return of supporters to stadiums as coronavirus restrictions are gradually eased.

The 2020/2021 Scottish season is due to get underway on August 1 behind closed doors.

However, with gate receipts even more important to the finances of the Scottish game than other leagues with more lucrative television contracts, SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell is hopeful fans can return in some capacity by October.

Israel are due to visit Hampden Park twice in the coming months with the Nations League fixture in September followed by a Euro 2020 playoff semi-final in October.

"The Israel game in September is definitely one that we will look at targeting to use in that test event environment," Maxwell said in a video conference following the SFA's annual general meeting on Tuesday.

"We are working as closely as we can with Scottish Government officials so that they understand the safe measures that we have got to allow supporters to get back into stadiums.

"We just need to work as hard as we can and give everyone the confidence that coming back into stadiums is going to be absolutely safe and we will do things appropriately."

The Scottish league season was curtailed in May, but the 2019/20 Scottish Cup is due to be completed before the end of the year.

The SFA confirmed on Tuesday the semi-finals will take place at Hampden Park on October 31 and November 1, with the final on December 20.

And Maxwell is aiming to have fans at Hampden for those occasions with games behind closed doors set to cost the association £3 million ($4 million).

"The projections that we have done based on no supporters coming into the international matches or through the Scottish Cup was about £3million," added Maxwell.

"If we could get some in for the semi-finals at the end of October you would like to think that by December for the final, those numbers would have increased."