Scotland vs Georgia was suspended after seven minutes due to a waterlogged pitch. Football news

Scotland’s match with Georgia was suspended after seven minutes of action due to heavy rain; Bad conditions at Hampton Park began half an hour before kick-off; Scotland were 1-0 up through Callum McGregor before play finally resumed at 9.35pm.

0:23, UK, Wednesday 21 June 2023

Scotland’s Euro 2024 qualifier with Georgia was temporarily suspended after seven minutes of action due to a pitch waterlogged by heavy rain an hour before kick-off.

Steve Clarke’s side took a 1-0 lead through Callum McGregor’s early strike, with Georgia complaining about the conditions in and around the goal as the midfielder’s strike was aided greatly by the poor conditions.

When the umpire called both sets of players off the pitch, the ground staff were given two chances to clear the rain from the surface. The Hampton Surface failed the first inspection, but passed the second.

Both sets of players warmed up on the pitch after 10 minutes, but were then mysteriously sent back in. At 9.15pm the Scots were back on the field as play resumed where it had been stopped.

What are the UEFA rules for relegation?

  • If a match cannot be started or played in full, the full or remaining match time shall, as a rule, be played the following day without prejudice to any disciplinary action. To that end, host associations must conclude all necessary agreements to ensure that all necessary facilities are available and operational.
  • If a match cannot be scheduled for the following day, the UEFA administration sets a new date, either during the international competition calendar window or as close as possible. Rescheduling may result in exceptions to the regular match scheduling pattern.

Then, in bizarre scenes, Georgia’s players initially refused to restart the game – leaving the prepared Scots confused on the pitch. The visiting players eventually emerged from the tunnel again at 9.35pm, an hour and 40 minutes after kick-off.

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Scotland won the game 2-0, with Scott McTominay adding a second goal at half-time as Steve Clarke’s side moved eight points clear at the top of Group A.

Clark praises fans, staff and players

Scotland manager Steve Clarke had nothing but praise for fans, staff and players after a 'surreal’ night at Hampton Park and gave an insight into what happened with Georgia’s apparent refusal to restart the game.

He said Viaplay Sports: „The players were fantastic. They focused on the game and I don’t know how many times they came out to warm-up.

„But I have to mention the crowd. Every time the players came out to warm-up, the crowd was there singing and cheering and letting the players know they were there to support them. It could have been easy for people to walk away. They were with the team and we really enjoyed it. We appreciate it.

„The Georgia boys were looking at the way the pitch was at the beginning of the game and still thought it was the same. Once we came out and both teams were in the tunnel, you could see it pouring again. In hindsight, they thought the pitch was not going to be good.

„But the pitch started draining. And the volunteers, a big tip for them too, are out there mopping the water off the pitch and doing everything they can to get the game on.

„And when Georgia came out and watched in the warm-up, they could see the pitch was good. We got there in the end.”

McTominay added Viaplay Sports After the game: „Initially we were all saying we wouldn’t be able to play on the pitch. But we kept our heads in the game plan and we did it well.

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„We came here to play and the crowd was amazingly patient. They kept us going. Big thanks to them.”

Fellow scorer McGregor was included Viaplay Sports: „No one has ever experienced this before. It’s a testament to the lads’ character and the staff, they’ve been outstanding.

„We were desperate to get the game going again. We were physically ready to go again. Overall, it was a very positive night.”

Scotland-Georgia suspended – full schedule

7.47 pm: Scotland vs Georgia starts in harsh conditions, water splashes with every movement of the players and the ball keeps getting stuck.

7.53 pm: Callum McGregor put Scotland ahead six minutes later.

7.54 pm: There is a VAR check on the goal as referee István Watt consults with the officials on the touchline. The Hungarian official speaks to the two captains – as well as some players who try to interfere – about the playing conditions.

7.57 pm: The players and match officials return to the dressing rooms as the ground staff, SFA staff and ball boys and girls begin mopping the pitch of surface water.

8 pm: UEFA confirms that play will be suspended for 20 minutes to clear surface water while the first pitch inspection takes place.

8.15 pm: The umpire and accompanying match official inspect their first pitch as the crew continues to work on mopping the surface.

Umpire Istvan Watt took a double check before calling the game on at 9.15pm

8.21 pm: The pitch did not pass the first test and another is scheduled for 8.35pm. It has also been reported that if the game is not played on Tuesday evening and deemed unplayable at Hampton Park or St Mirren, it will be rescheduled for Wednesday.

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8.33 pm: The referee and accompanying match official inspect the second pitch as both teams, backroom staff and association officials gather in the dugouts, awaiting the result.

8.40 pm: It has been announced that the players will come out for a 10-minute warm-up at 8.45 pm. The umpire will confer with the captains and if they agree, play will resume at 8.55pm.

8.45 pm: Both sets of players emerged for their warm-up as the rain started to fall again. However, the better the ball rolls across the surface, the more attention the goalmouths receive.

8.59 pm: The players retreated into the tunnel – much to the astonishment of Scotland fans and players alike.

9.02 pm: The restart time has been pushed to 9.15pm.

9.11 pm: The Scots come out of the tunnel, ready to resume play. However, there was no sign of the Georgia players.

Scotland captain Andy Robertson reacts to the restart at Hampton Park after another delay

9.17 pm: Viaplay Sports According to reports, Georgia is refusing to restart the game. The Scots remain on the pitch and continue their second training session.

9.19 pm: The umpire reappears with the ball under his arm and conducts another mini pitch inspection, much to the continued annoyance of the players and fans.

9.22 pm: The restart was again delayed till 9.30 pm. Scotland fans vent their frustration as players praise them for their patience. They soon return to the dressing room again.

9.25 pm: Georgia players emerge from their dressing room to the cheers of the home fans.

9.29 pm: The restart was delayed until 9.35pm.

9.34 pm: The Scots came back out onto the pitch with a huge roar as play resumed – an hour and 40 minutes after the game was stopped early.

A wet Scotland – in pictures!

Half an hour before kick-off it started to rain heavily at Hampton Park

The match started in bad conditions

Callum McGregor’s water-assisted goal gave Scotland the lead on five minutes

Georgia soldiers complained about the situation

Ground staff were given two 20-minute periods to clear the water on the ground before the inspection

Scotland fans chant „Why Does It Always Rein On Me?” They sang that. From the stand

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