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Own goal over Scotland fixture

Chick Young | 15:10 UK time, Monday, 27 April 2009

To B or not to B, that is the question.

And here is the answer. No, not in a month of Sundays. Nor Wednesday nights, for that matter.

Why has the SFA decided to take on a B international match at second prize level against Northern Ireland at Cumbernauld next week?

Scotland manager George BurleyThe apathy hangs so thick in the air you could cut yourself a slice.

Expect a crowd of 14 men and a dog... although I understand the hound in question says the job of getting there will be no walk in the park.

Actually, I'm going to the game and I might take my boots because the batting order is likely to sink to such murky depths on the talent scale.

Anglo Scots are involved in play-off matches in the English Championship and managers of sides in the nerve-wracking bottom six won't want their stars involved ahead of crucial fixtures.

However, Gordon Strachan and Walter Smith are likely to say "good luck" to any players selected ahead of the title showdown Old Firm game.

Aye, right!

We are so short of candidates for this team that the SFA board might send out a grovelling apology to Barry Ferguson.

All right, maybe I've taken that too far. But this is a pointless exercise.

We will field a team full of players who have no chance of ever representing the country at a meaningful level on a night when the televised Champions League semi-final might just prove too much of a temptation.

No contest. It's like Baywatch versus Bayview.

And don't give me that codswallop about giving some players a chance to pull on a Scotland shirt.

Do what the rest of us do for five-a-sides and buy one at your local sports shop.

It's the latest dodgy decision in a long list of dodgy decisions headed up by the old chestnut of European qualification.

Falkirk will be in the Europa League no matter what happens on 30 May, because Rangers are heading for the Champions League.

Good luck to the Bairns. It's not their fault but there is something intrinsically wrong with the system when we reward failure.

The club's starting position will be handsomely rewarded if they actually beat the Ibrox side.

But if they are runners-up they enter Europe so early they will just about have time for a cup of tea and a biscuit at full-time at Hampden before playing their first qualifying tie.

But at least John Hughes proved to be the class act that sections of the support - those who called for his head in an ill-timed open letter - could never be.

In the very moment of his sweet triumph, within seconds of the full-time whistle against Dunfermline, he was dedicating Falkirk's arrival in the final to the memory of Craig Gowans who died four years ago in a tragic training ground accident, aged just 17.

It was a much needed moment of dignity and style because our little world has gone stark raving bonkers.

And the busiest asylum of all may be Almondvale.

What on earth is going on there? Answers on a postcard, please, to Paul Hegarty.

That West Lothian question suddenly makes the B game, relatively speaking, look like a right good idea.


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