SCOTTISH MPs have told the UK Government it is “excruciatingly unfair” that Scotland football supporters are the only fans unable to watch the men’s international matches free on TV.

In a debate in the House of Commons, the Scottish Affairs Committee asked the Government for help in securing a solution that would let fans see matches free on TV, like in England and Wales.

Scotland takes on Norway on Saturday in the Euro 2024 qualifiers and then Cyprus next week but the only live TV coverage will be on Viaplay.

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England meanwhile plays Malta and North Macedonia over the next week and both will be free on Channel 4.

Pete Wishart, chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee, said they were looking to the Government to support efforts to either have matches on the listed events schedule, where they must be available free, or to reach a deal with broadcasters to allow some or all to be shown free.

He said: “It is excruciatingly unfair what is happening to Scottish football fans.

“There’s a huge encouragement and excitement about international football and the prospects for the Scottish (men's) football team.

“The only problem is you have to pay to watch it and we’re the only part of Great Britain that this happens to.”

He told the UK minister for media it is “not cheap” at £15.99 a month for Viaplay, which owns the rights until 2028.

Wishart added: “We know the Scottish Football Association relies on the money that they secure from selling the rights to a variety of broadcasters and without them they wouldn’t be able to invest in grassroots sports. 

"They can’t gift this away for nothing.”

But he said there are "ways through this” and suggested a voluntary arrangement or using the listed events schedule and the Government compensating the SFA for loss of income.

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He cited the example of when Sky had the rights they allowed a play-off final between Scotland and Serbia to go free to air.

He added: “We encourage crucial games to be free to air if no solution can be found.”

John Whittingdale, minister for media, said Scotland had the same situation as the rest of the UK.

He said the Scottish FA was free, like the English Welsh and Northern Irish FAs, to agree a deal with broadcasters for the right to show matches.

He said: “The reason that you are able to watch England football matches is because the free to air broadcasters have obtained those rights.

“They don’t have any exclusive ability to bid for them, others could too.”

He said events like the World Cup finals and European Championships finals are on the listed events schedule.

He added: “If, as I’m sure the honourable gentleman and his colleagues believe will in due course happen that, Scotland should reach the finals in one of those competitions, that will be free to air under the listed events.

“But until then the Scottish team will have the same rights as the English team and the other nations of the UK in terms of the football authorities' ability to decide who they should sell their rights to.”

He said there were no plans to change the listed events schedule to include qualifying matches.