Scotland v England: Rachel Corsie and Sarina Wiegman dismiss suggestions Scotland will help England’s Olympic bid

4 December 2023 0 By Total Football News
Scotland and England players react during September's game in SunderlandEngland beat Scotland 2-1 at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light in September

Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Tuesday, 5 December Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC One; listen on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra & BBC Radio Scotland Extra; live text commentary on BBC Sport website & app

Captain Rachel Corsie says it is “disrespectful” and “outrageous” to question the integrity of Scotland before their Women’s Nations League game with England on Tuesday.

England are the nominated nation to qualify for next year’s Olympics in Paris on behalf of Team GB.

But they may need a big victory over Scotland to keep those hopes alive.

“A lot of people outside have spoken about it and truthfully I think it is so disrespectful,” said Corsie.

“To have played for my country for as many years as I have, to know the girls that sit in there, the ones that want to be here, the ones who can’t be here through injury, I think it is absolutely outrageous to question anyone’s integrity and I think it is a huge insult to us.

“I understand why the question is being asked but, for us, the motivation is playing for your country.

“It’s difficult to understand if you’ve never experienced it but when you have experienced it, you don’t need extra motivation. It is absolutely the pinnacle of the sport to represent your nation so that will absolutely be the motivation tomorrow, to be pulling on the Scotland jersey.”

Coach Pedro Martinez Losa echoed Corsie’s sentiments, saying: “I don’t feel happy about the questioning of the integrity of the Scottish players.”

Players from all four home nations are eligible to represent Team GB if England achieve qualification, and it has been pointed out in the media this week that a heavy loss would benefit Scottish players’ chances of appearing in Paris.

“The situation is one we cannot change, a situation we have been brought into. I wish it could have been anticipated or we could have changed it,” added Martinez Losa, whose Scotland side will finish bottom of the group.

“I do not think there is any other feeling that will be on the pitch. I wish this was not the situation, I am not sure what the solution will be in the future but I do not want my players to be in this situation.”

If England win their Nations League group they would move into February’s semi-finals and a victory there would secure a place in the Olympics. They can also qualify by winning the third place play-off to finish third, if Olympic hosts France reach the Nations League final.

‘No way’ Scotland will help England – Wiegman

England are second behind the Netherlands on goal difference, despite a come-from-behind 3-2 win over the Dutch at Wembley on Friday.

Both England and the Netherlands are on nine points and have identical head-to-head records.

Therefore, if the Netherlands, who play at home against Belgium, and England both win then it will come down to goal difference, with the Dutch holding a three-goal advantage.

If Belgium beat the Dutch, England would still need to beat Scotland to ensure qualification.

“There’s no way Scotland are going to give away this game,” said England manager Sarina Wiegman, who will coach Team GB at the Olympics.

“That is absolutely not going to be the case – there’s such a rivalry, if you have seen our group, seen Scotland and know the history of Scotland and England.

Netherlands head coach Andries Jonker described the fact a Scotland loss could lead to their players representing Great Britain at the Olympics as “strange”, and Wiegman was unsure of how to sort out the issue in the future.

“This is the first time we’ve played the Nations League, and how are you going to solve this situation? she asked.

“Maybe you don’t want them [England and Scotland] in the same group, but if Scotland topped another group, we topped one and we went into the finals, you’d have the same situation.

“It’s just about fair play, about football, and in football everyone wants to win, and we know the rivalry.

“We have professional players here who really want to show up – England players and Scottish players. It’s going to be a good game where everyone wants to perform at their highest level.”