Estonia v Scotland Report

World Cup Qualifying Match
Kadriaorg Stadium, Tallinn, Estonia, Wednesday 9th October 1996, K.O: 15:00

Estonia A, Scotland A, Tallinn, 9/10/96, 15:00, Attendance: @1000

SCOTLAND: Scotland: Goram,
TBDBoyd, Calderwood, Hendry, McCall, McCoist (Spencer 83), McAllister, Collins, T. McKinlay (Booth 59), Durie, Burley, Other Subs: Leighton, McKimmie, Whyte, Jess, B. McKinlay, Gallacher, Jackson, Gemmill, Walker. Booked: Calderwood, McCall, Collins.

ESTONIA: Did not turn up.
Referee: ?

Match Report

14:30 (GMT+2). A crowd of about 250 Scots fans were gathered outside the locked gates, waiting to enter the stadium to watch the vital rearranged match vs Estonia (kick off now 15:00 instead iof 18:45 due to dodgy lights). The Scotland team could be seen through the railings warming up for the big match. Some excellent skills were in evidence ... dodge and weave, keepy uppy and other amazing one touch passing moves.

Finally, the Scotland Travel Club security officer came to the gates and made an annoucement to the impatient fans. As far as was known, the match was to go ahead. In trooped the fans and installed themselves in the Main Stand preparing for the big spectacle. There was quite a bit of banter flying about and when Craig Brown got the team doing synchronised running across the park a loud cheer went up. What skill, what finesse. Surely a winning side if ever you saw one.

14:50. The fans began to get a little tense and the whisper floating round the stadium was that the Estonians hadn't turned up. A loud cheer went up however as a coach entered the stadium. No joy there, it was the U-21 side coming to supprt the big team ! Some fans were unperturbed by all this however and in their search for a bar had stumbled across the press conference room which was all laid out ready for the after match conference. However, regardless of whether there was to be an after match press conference, there would be no sandwiches and refreshments available there.

15:00. More fans were streaming in and up to about 800 Scots were present by this stage. Out came the team! Three FIFA officials followed by the Scotland side. But where were the Estonians ?? Fortunastely, we won the toss and Scotland lined up for the game. Only, there was still no opposition. Scotland kicked off and the referee had a quick check to see if 11 Estonian players would run down the tunnel at the last second. No joy ! Estonia were nowhere to be seen and the FIFA referee blew for time after only three seconds. Scotland again failing to score against weak opposition !

A celebration took place amongst the team and fans but it was not the victory everybody wanted ! The heavy police presence consisting of a fairly ugly woman with two nose-gaurded Alsatians in tow was unable to control the 800 strong Tartan Army. One large kilted fan burst through this heavy police cordon and delicately flicked the match ball onto the pitch. He ran on unchallenged towards the empty Estonian net, carefully managing not to spill any of his beer on the way, and with a theatrical deft nonchalence, hammered the ball past the non-existant keeper. A loud cheer celebrated the opening of the score as a newly arrived security officer escorted the fan back to his place in the stand.

The farce became complete a several drunken fans (both Scots and Estonian) staged a kick about on the field as the rest of the Scots fans trooped off to look for the nearest bar.

The news was confirmed on teletext that Scotland had been awarded a 3-0 victory due to the non-appearance of the Estonian side. We had the points ! This was not to be long lived however as FIFA appear to have ignored what it says in the rule book and will have a committee meeting about the game on 7th November to decide whather the decision was fair !! Typical disorganised rubbish !!!!!

So what about these floodlights ! They looked perfectly unsafe and crap from where I was sitting ! Under these same floodlights, the Estonian side lined up (with only local officials rather than the FIFA ones!) and kicked off as the Scots has done only 4 hours earlier at the original scheduled kick off time of 18:45.

Between 800 and 1000 Scots fans travelled to Estonia for the purpose of watching a football match. This was ruined by a disorganised approach from the minnow team and their unwillingness to comply with FIFA requirements. That is one thing however. The other side of the question lies in the forthcoming FIFA decision on whether the Scots will get the points or whether the match will be rescheduled ! If a new date is decided on rather than a walkover, I for one will be sueing FIFA for the cost of my travel to Estonia and match ticket (which was by the way fairly priced by the Estonian FA to cost the Scots supporters 5-6 times as much as a local Estonian would pay for his ticket !!!!).


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