Scotland still bitter about Estonia

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The Independent Online
Even as they celebrated Sunday's World Cup win over Sweden, Scotland were still being distracted by the Estonia saga. Jim Farry, the chief executive of the Scottish Football Association, remains unhappy with the way Fifa, football's world governing body, has handled the aftermath of last month's abortive trip to Tallinn.

Scotland went to the top of Group Four thanks to their 1-0 victory over Sweden, even though they were without their suspended captain, Gary McAllister, who only learned on Friday that the suspension he should have served in Estonia would have to be served against the Swedes instead. Fifa ruled last week that the Scots must replay the qualifier for which the Estonians failed to turn up, after Fifa brought forward the kick-off time on 9 October.

"There are more questions than answers over this," Farry said. "There are causes for concern." The Scots are unhappy that although David Will, a vice-president of the SFA, left Thursday's Fifa meeting in Zurich while the Estonia affair was being discussed, Sweden's Lennart Johansson, a Fifa vice-president, did not do likewise.

Johansson said at the weekend that he may report Farry to Fifa's disciplinary committee over alleged remarks made by the Scot in response to the governing body's decision to restage the Estonia game and ban McAllister for Sunday's match. Farry responded yesterday that he is willing to go to Zurich to meet Fifa officials. "There was major disruption to our team. It was an unusual disruption which we would hope would never be repeated for any country," Farry said.

Fifa has ordered Estonia to meet Scotland by 16 March next year. "We are still awaiting news on where and when the game will be played," Craig Brown, Scotland's coach, said. "The players will be up for that one, that is for sure." The Scots then have home games against Estonia on 29 March and Austria on 2 April - the latter probably at Celtic Park.