Scotland boss Steve Clarke issues COVID vaccination plea to players and supporters

Clarke is confident his squad now have a good level of protection from the virus

Steve Clarke has revealed “over 75 per cent” of his Scotland squad have received their vaccinations or recovered from Covid-19 and has urged Tartan Army supporters to get themselves vaccinated.

Ahead of Saturday’s crucial World Cup Qualifier against Israel, spectators have told to arrive early with a capacity crowd expected at Hampden Park.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In a newsletter distributed on behalf of the Scotland Supporters Club yesterday, it confirmed that all fans will be requested to bring their proof of vaccination status certificate and spot checks will be in operation.

The match will act as a ‘trial run’ prior to the vaccine passport scheme being formally enforced on October 18.

National team boss Clarke revealed the Scottish Football Association (SFA) have encouraged his current squad of players to all get double vaccinated and echoed Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp in stressing the vaccine’s importance.

Klopp, this week, vented his frustration with English Premier League stars refusing to get the jab.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Clarke said: “Obviously we want as many people to be vaccinated as possible.

“I am of a certain age where you think it’s a no-brainer to get it done, but you have to understand some younger people might think that it’s not the thing to do.

“In this current squad, I think there’s over 75 per cent that have either had Covid or are double-vaccinated, so we are pretty well covered within the squad now.

“Obviously, the more people that get double-vaccinated the better it is and the safer it is for everyone in the country.

“So my message is, ‘get your vaccinations, please’.”

Scotland have suffered from Covid disruption throughout the pandemic, with several key players missing international games.

Southampton midfielder Stuart Armstrong tested positive before the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Israel last October which forced Kieran Tierney and Ryan Christie to also miss out after being identified as a close contact.

John Fleck was then forced into self-isolation during a training camp in Spain in the lead up to the Euros before Billy Gilmour was ruled out of the final group match with Croatia after being struck down with the virus.

John McGinn, Nathan Patterson and Stephen O’Donnell also missed last month’s 2-0 defeat to Denmark in Copenhagen, while new coach Austin McPhee missed the previous international break.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR SUPPORTERS ATTENDING SCOTLAND VS ISRAEL:

·         Please don’t attend if you have any Covid-19 symptoms.

·         Only attend the match if you feel safe and well enough to do so.

·         Please carry out a Lateral Flow Test before attending the match.

·         Masks should be worn within the stadium and on public transport to and from the match.

·         Arrive early to avoid queuing on entry. Turnstiles will be open at 3pm, two hours before kick-off.

·         No bags larger than A4 to be brought to the stadium.

·         Hampden is now a cashless stadium. Please bring a credit or debit card in order to purchase food, drink or anything else within the stadium.