FIFA have ordered that Scotland’s match against England from 1872 be replayed, after it was discovered that the referee for the game received a bribe from a leading Glasgow bookmaker to ensure the tie finished goalless.
The fixture, the first international game ever played, was held at Hamilton Crescent on 30 November, and did indeed finish 0-0, despite Scotland – comprised entirely of Queen’s Park players – being heavily favoured.
A FIFA spokesman said: ‘It has come to our attention that the result of the Scotland versus England game of 1872 was compromised owing to a large renumeration finding its way into referee William Keay’s bank account. As we are trying to be as transparent as possible, we have decided to re-arrange the fixture, in order to allow a fair result to be accomplished’.
However, a major stumbling block is the fact that everyone involved in the match has been dead for a century. When this was pointed out to the spokesman, he replied: ‘We are aware that this is an issue. However, in the interests of fairness and openness, FIFA feels it is imperative that this fixture be replayed with the original players, no matter their state of decrepitude. No one’s saying it’s going to be exciting’.
The West of Scotland Cricket Club, who own Hamilton Crescent, have given their assent to staging the re-arranged game on the ground, and are happy to once more charge fans 1s entry.