Vaccine I see you

Date: 17th September 2021

“Vaccine I see you”

Donald Stewart’s second weekly SFSA blog.

“I would do anything for my club.”

Heard it before? I have. The week later it is normally accompanied by the scarf being thrown onto the pitch and an equal determination not to return until they sack him, change the board, invest in a new player or just because it no longer is the “type of football we used to play.”

Passion and fervency can be a double edged sword.

And now it would appear we need a passport to access them.

Games are back with crowds. Capacities can be reached – if we have enough people to fill them. But there is the issue of proving that we should be, not could be there. People are somewhat challenged by the idea that if you want tot watch the fitba ye need a double dose of the jag.

There are some for it and some who think it mince; and it’s no Galloway’s mince.

The SPFL and SFA have come out their shell to say what they think, announcing that they think.

In a surprise announcement to us all we have found ourselves having to overcome that barrier by realising that there may be collectively a brain within the national stadium.

What is even more surprising is that they have their own ideas.

That might even be called original thinking. They want spot checks. They are keen to eradicate COVID-19 and want spot checks. And that is a big idea.

In a recent poll for the SFSA, we discovered muted support for the Government’s decision to blanket ask all those attending games with over 10,000 fans attending to make sure they have been vaccinated. A QR code would be required which you can download as proof.

Pretty simples if you ask me…

And then came the chaos outside Hampden when the electronic ticketing was in place for the Moldova game.

Queues and pictures on social media showed that the good old stadium was not equipped for dealing with the 21st Century in quite this fashion. Now, I have been to big games with electronic ticketing. It was a scoosh. I have attended events with those electronic handheld thingummies where people scanned your code on the way in. Granted it was not 10,000 plus being allowed in but surely to Betsy you could have people at the start of a queue in sufficient quantities to get people in without too much hassle? TRANSMT did it – didn’t they?

So, the big idea from the SPFL and SFA to help manage a global pandemic is to increase the possibility of the spread of a virus by asking for spot checks rather than blanket proof.

If you can avoid the wee guy wi the handheld scanner you can drop in, infect everyone around you, drop out and we see a spike. The spike becomes a resurgence, the lock down returns we get nae mair people at the games and go back to the real possibility that clubs might have to pay people with no income as the next lockdown is not a threat but a reality.

Now that is quite an extreme scenario. It is unlikely to happen just like that. Should we go back to lockdown it shall not be because football is back. There shall be many other reasons just like domestic abuse is not caused by football but when some teams play and one team loses there are spikes in domestic violent incidents. It is however a reality that football is a contributory factor.

I kind of like the SPFL and SFA having an idea. I really like the idea of them having original thought, but I would have preferred if they had decided to request support to strengthen the numbers of people taking QR codes. It would be more practical surely to ask the Government for support in ensuring we can get people in and out safely.

The way we handled the Scotland game failed.

It was far from an epic fail, and in the pantheon of keech they can organise, our national organisers were guilty of overseeing something which was far from a disaster. Unless you were outside the stadium for too long, but we need to move on and make the case for support in a practical sense.

IF other industries can organise getting more than 10,000 people in a venue then we should be masters at it as we are only talking a few venues. We are not talking Coatbridge on a wet Wednesday – we are talking six venues at the most. We may be talking three events per week with European games thrown in though a few less than we hoped for as some Scottish clubs should be commended for helping that logjam out by falling out their respective competitions…

Doing anything for your club might mean if you are going to watch them getting vaccinated. Do anything for them? Let’s see.


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