Scotland has one of the longest running and most decorated football histories of any country. The Scottish national side is the oldest in the world; along with England, the Scots participated in the first international football competition in 1872. The Scottish Football Association was formed the next year, making it the world’s second national governing body for football (behind only The Football Association of England). While the national team has qualified for numerous international tournaments, including the World Cup (most recently in 1998), Scottish football is primarily distinguished for its club teams. In particular, Celtic and Rangers – collectively known as the Old Firm – have achieved impressive success both domestically and abroad. The two have dominated the Scottish FA and even added a couple European titles to their trophy cases.
The sub pages available through the drop-down menu above will walk you through the many years of Scotland’s proud footballing tradition. Begin with a history lesson that will take you back to the sport’s beginnings in the 19th century. Then read through an in-depth look at the Old Firm rivalry and the wider socio-political implications of their matches. Finally, finish up your Scottish football education with an examination of the sport as it exists today. We hope this look at Scotland’s most popular pastime will prove enlightening, and we encourage you to follow the advice of the Tartan Army (Scotland’s dedicated band of supporters) and “Stand up if you hate the English!”