Scotland: Players call out lack of tickets for Women's World Cup qualifier

Last week, a record-breaking crowd packed out the famous Camp Nou to watch women’s football.

A total of 91,553 fans came from all over the world to become a part of history as Barcelona Femení hosted their first ever match in front of a crowd on the main stage.

The Catalonians repaid their supporters’ faith with a thrilling 5-2 win over El Clásico rivals Real Madrid to secure their place in the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The occasion clearly left fans with an itch they couldn’t quite scratch, as Barcelona’s next game at the Camp Nou has also completely sold out.

In just under 24 hours, all available tickets for the 99,000-capacity stadium have been snatched up. The turning point of giving women’s football the platform it deserves has finally come.

Or at least, it looked that way for a short while.

Amid the excitement of yet another packed out Barcelona Femení match, the Scotland women’s national team are struggling at the entirely opposite end of the scales.

The Tartan Army are set to play against Spain in a World Cup qualifying match later this month at Hampden Park, but only a small percentage of tickets appear to be available for purchase.

A number of players have taken to social media to speak out against the stark difference in history-making crowds in Barcelona, to the apparent limited options in Glasgow.

The team, including Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert and Manchester City’s Caroline Weir, have joined forces and posted identical messages on Twitter along with a screenshot of the availability page for the fixture against Spain.

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Just six sections can be seen highlighted on the seating plan, which are all labelled with ‘limited availability.’

“Following record attendances at recent women’s football matches, the SFA have only opened a fraction of a 50,000+ capacity Hampden Park,” the players wrote. “How are we expected to grow the game when only limited tickets are available for our supporters? Come on @ScotlandNT we can do better.”

Indeed, Scotland Women have already proven they can attract large crowds to the main stage. Hampden Park — which is also the home of the Scotland men’s national team — saw a record 18,555 fans watch the women’s side host a friendly against Jamaica in 2019.

Just last year, the Scottish Football Association announced that all 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification home fixtures would be played at Hampden Park. Sharing the big stadiums between the teams is something that the women’s game has been crying out for, for so long.

However, it is not enough simply to open the turnstiles for women’s fans and leave it there — an active effort must be made to try to fill the stadium and bring in as much support as possible.

The 91,553 supporters at the Camp Nou are living proof that if women’s fixtures are made available on the big stage, the crowds will arrive in their droves to be a part of the occasion.

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