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Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Published at 16:01 GMT

Sport: Football

Annual cross-border clash unlikely

England v Scotland arouses passionate rivalries

The annual England-Scotland fixture is unlikely to be re-instated after violence marred last Saturday's tie at Hampden, says the Scottish Football Association.

More than 2,000 additional officers were called in by Strathclyde police and 200 arrests were made following Scotland's 2-0 defeat in the Euro 2000 play-off.

The two sides meet again on Wednesday for the return leg at Wembley Stadium. - one of the venue's last football matches before it is torn down and replaced with a new structure.

'Definitely an attraction''

President of the SFA Jack McGinn said: "From a football point of view, the Scotland v England match is definitely an attraction, but when you see the level of security preparations required, then it makes you wonder if it can be revived on a regular basis.

[ image: Hampden: More than 2,000 additional police were drafted in]
Hampden: More than 2,000 additional police were drafted in
"We will discuss it more fully when the SFA's International Committee meets next month and we still have the Wembley match to come of course.

He said that he recognised there was a desire in England to see the return of the fixture, but argued that the Football Assocation and the SFA would have to "take stock of what has happened this time" before coming to a final decision.

In the past, the annual England-Scotland game was a major highlight of the annual sporting calendar, with the only break coming during World War I. A massive total of 15 internationals were played between the neighbours during World War II.

The fixture - the world's oldest international - ran from 1872 to 1989, when the increasing problems of violence and hooliganism led to it being abandoned. The last annual match was held at Hampden Park a decade ago.

There was speculation that the match could be revived following an amicable aftermath to England's 2-0 defeat of Scotland during Euro 96, but it remains likely that the two countries will only meet in World Cups or European Championships for the foreseeable future.

Of the 109 official encounters between the two sides, England have won 45 times, Scotland 40 and 24 matches were drawn.

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