Police allow Scots to stage qualifiers on Friday nights

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Scotland’s bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup has been backed by Strathclyde Police after the scheduling of Friday night matches at Hampden Park was approved.

Scotland will open their campaign with a home double-header against Serbia and Macedonia in September 2012 and two Friday night fixtures will take place at Hampden Park after the Scottish Football Association received the support of the local police force. Wales visit Glasgow on Friday, March 22, 2013 and Belgium do the same on Friday, September 6, 2013.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said on scottishfa.co.uk: “After positive discussions with the police, they have given approval for us to play on a Friday, which is a huge help to Craig [Levein, Scotland manager] in terms of giving the squad extra recovery time between games in a double header.”

Levein was pleased with the outcome of yesterday’s fixtures meeting in Brussels. Levein said “we got most of what we came for”, with his side playing top seeds Croatia away on Friday, June 7, with a provisional 9pm kick-off local time, and completing their campaign against Croatia on Tuesday, October 11.

The manager said: “It was tense, fraught at times but enjoyable and ultimately we are very pleased with the outcome.

“We got most of what we came for: two home games to start the campaign with, at least one Saturday afternoon kick-off at home for the sake of our supporters and a home game to finish with.

“Obviously playing Croatia in June was the one concession but with an evening kick-off I was prepared to make that sacrifice in order to protect our other wishes.”