SCOTS football fans are lending their support to Australia at the 2022 World Cup, a Clyde Insider poll has revealed.
Some of the Tartan Army are backing the Socceroos after Aussie boss called up Scots-born Martin Boyle, Harry Souttar and Jason Cummings to his 26-man squad.
With Scotland once again absent on football’s greatest stage, fans admit they’re backing the boys Down Under as the tournament unfolds in Qatar.
Twitter user Alan Scott said: “Mon the Aussies!”
Another user, Kevin Watt, suggested: “So what you’re saying is use (sic) are the Scoteroos?”
Craig Healey said: “Wear (sic) can I buy an Aussie strip?”
The Clyde Insider poll revealed that, of all English-speaking nations (minus England themselves) in Qatar (Australia, Canada, USA and the now KO’d Wales) almost half of Scottish support (42%) is with the Australian side. For the first World Cup in several years Scots are offering a fresh response to the usual ‘anyone but England’ knee-jerk response when asked where their World Cup support is directed.
Since Scotland’s last involvement in a World Cup, 1998, Australia have reached the finals five times.
Cummings, 27, – known as ‘Cumdog’ from his Hibernian days – played against Aussie teammate Souttar for Rangers in 2018 and alongside Aberdeen born Socceroo striker Martin Boyle for two years at Hibs.
Cummings was handed a Scotland call-up back in a 2017 friendly with the Netherlands, then again a year later against Hungary. But Cummings fell out of favour with the Tartan Army shortly after. A turbulent end with Dundee saw him revive his career with Australian top-flight side Central Coast Mariners bagging 10 goals in 21 matches.
Cummings now represents the Aussies who beat Euro 2020 semi-finalists Denmark 1-0 on Wednesday night to book a spot in the Round of 16 for the first time since 2006. Cummings and Souttar gain eligibility via their mothers, both of whom were born in Oz, while Boyle’s father hails from Down Under allowing the former Montrose, Dundee and Hibs star to represent the Socceroos.
In the Socceroos’ opening fixture, Edinburgh born Cummings endured over 30 minutes of football against France, a dream he could never have anticipated under a year ago when he was expelled from the Dundee squad and had the Scotland door slammed shut.
Cummings said at the time: “Scotland never qualify for World Cups. I always had in the back of my head coming to Australia and playing for the national team.”
One user on popular Scottish football forum pieandbovril.com summarised the scenario perfectly: “Can’t blame the Scots for picking Australia, gives them a better chances of Koalafying.”
The Scots trio representing the Aussies has again raised the question of dual nationality – just weeks after news broke that ex-Dundee United wonderkid Ryan Gauld could be tempted to represent Canada in the near future.
Gauld appears to be the latest Scottish talent poised to opt for an opposing national side after a historic campaign with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
With some Scottish supporters encouraging the Aberdeen-born midfielder to stop holding off for a Steve Clarke phone call, it appears there are no hard feelings should Gauld take the plunge.
Twitter user Ayrshire Owl said: “Wouldn’t blame the lad, keeps getting overlooked, think he deserves a cap whether it be Scotland or Canada.”
Another Scottish based account, Goldenhill, wrote: “Go play for Canada young man do your best.”
Former Dundee United and Hibs playmaker Gauld hasn’t ruled out a Canadian cap with the 26-year-old ghosted by the Scottish FA despite lighting up the MLS last season.
Gauld, who earned a £3 million move to Sporting Lisbon in 2014, picked up the Vancouver Whitecaps Player of the Year award for 2022 registering eight goals and nine assists. But when prompted about a potential cap for the North American nation on a local podcast Gauld stated: “You can never say never.”
Canadian podcast ‘Away From The Numbers’ discussed the idea of representing his country of residence, to which Gauld admitted he hadn’t given the idea too much thought.
He said: “I’m not looking at forcing my way into the Scotland set-up. If it happens, it happens, if not we’ll see where it is in a few years and what will be will be.”