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Scottish football stands test of time

From its beginnings in the 19th century, football has become the national game in Scotland.
Scottish football stands test of time
Denis Law scores in one of Scotland's most satisfying results - a 3-2 defeat of world champions England at Wembley in 1967 ©Popperfoto/Getty Images

Scottish football stands test of time

From its beginnings in the 19th century, football has become the national game in Scotland.

In Scotland it was not until the 19th century that football began to gain respectability and social prominence as it was introduced in some schools – but the lack of a national identity meant there was little opportunity for organised play. Only when like-minded individuals came together to write a set of rules that could be followed by all was the game codified and organised on a national level for the first time.

Following the formation of Scotland's first football club, Queen's Park FC, in 1867, the game experienced a rapid growth, but with no formal structure matches were often arranged in a haphazard and irregular fashion. It was clear that the clubs would benefit from regular competition and organisation.

Queen's Park took the lead, and after an advertisement had appeared in a Glasgow newspaper, representatives from seven clubs – Queen's Park, Clydesdale FC, Vale of Leven FC, Dumbreck FC, Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers FC, Glasgow Eastern FC and Granville FC – attended a meeting in Dewar's Hotel in Glasgow on 13 March 1873. Additionally, Kilmarnock FC sent a letter stating their willingness to join.

That day, these eight clubs formed the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and resolved that "the clubs here represented, form themselves into an association for the promotion of football according to the rules of the Football Association, and that the clubs connected with this association subscribe for a challenge cup to be played for annually, the committee to propose the laws of the competition".

The Scottish FA is the second oldest in world football, junior only to England's Football Association. The first international match had actually taken place in Glasgow one year before, somewhat appropriately on 30 November 1872 – St Andrew's Day – and the opponents were England, the 'Auld Enemy'. The game finished 0-0, the first of 111 encounters between the teams.

Football experienced a meteoric growth, and by the start of the 20th century it had become Scotland's most popular spectator sport. The SFA and the English FA, together with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and the Irish Football Association (IFA), set up the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in 1886 to monitor the laws of the game. FIFA became a member of IFAB in 1913, and today the board still acts as the guardian of the laws. The SFA joined FIFA in 1910, and was a founder member of UEFA in 1954.

At the top level, the combination of quality players, improved spectator facilities and intense media interest, has led to football becoming highly commercialised and heavily sponsored. Throughout Scotland, football is played regularly on an organised basis by more than 140,000 people, and is clearly Scotland's national game.

Scottish players and coaches have exported their talents successfully to many parts of the world, most notably to England. Players such as Denis Law, Billy Bremner and Kenny Dalglish, and coaches Sir Matt Busby, Bill Shankly and Sir Alex Ferguson, have all made a substantial and lasting impact on the game in England. The first professionals were Scottish 'professors' in the 1870s, brought to England to raise footballing standards, and Scots have continued to play a key role in the sport's development south of the border.

On the club front, Celtic FC, Rangers FC and Aberdeen FC have all brought European honours to Scotland – Celtic winning the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1967, and Rangers and Aberdeen lifting the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972 and 1983 respectively. More recently, Celtic got to the UEFA Cup final in Seville in 2003, losing 3-2 to FC Porto, while Rangers were defeated 2-0 by FC Zenit in the final of the same competition in 2008 in Manchester.

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President

 

Campbell Ogilvie

Campbell Ogilvie

Nationality: Scottish
Date of birth: 1 May 1950
Association president since: 2011

• Campbell Ogilvie took up the post of Scottish Football Association (SFA) president at the association's annual general meeting in June 2011.

• Ogilvie has over 30 years of experience in the Scottish game. He served Rangers FC as secretary and director over a 27-year period before joining Heart of Midlothian FC as managing director in 2005. He has also sat on various UEFA bodies, and became the SFA's first vice-president in 2007.

• "It is a great honour to serve as president and I appreciate the responsibility that comes with the position," said Ogilvie, who assumed the presidency at a time of considerable change for the SFA as it moves forward with new structures aimed at further developing Scottish football. Ogilvie was re-elected for a second two-year term in June 2013.

General secretary

 

Stewart Regan

Stewart Regan

Nationality: English
Date of birth: 10 February 1964
Association CEO since: 2010

• Stewart Regan joined the Scottish Football Association (SFA) from Yorkshire County Cricket Club in July 2010 and immediately implemented a modernisation of the association's governance and structures.

• Since his arrival, Regan has led the SFA into a period of radical change, including the abolition of the committee structure, investment in a performance strategy and the creation of the Professional and Non- Professional Game Boards.

• Regan worked in the brewing industry for 16 years before becoming a director of the English Football League Championship.

Association info

  • Founded: 1873
  • UEFA affiliation: 1954
  • FIFA affiliation: 1910
  • Address: Hampden Park GLASGOW G42 9AY
  • Telephone: +44 141 616 6000
  • Fax: +44 141 616 6001

UEFA ranking

CountryClubsPts
21PolandPoland0/418.875
22BelarusBelarus0/418.625
23ScotlandScotland0/416.566
24SwedenSweden0/516.325
25BulgariaBulgaria0/415.625
Last updated: 26/05/2014 06:59 CET

Honours by National Teams

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