There is an old joke that goes ‘How do you know someone is a vegetarian? They’ll tell you’. The same rule can be applied to those who may be Scottish football fans, but who, nevertheless, don’t support Scotland.

This is particularly true on the rare occasions, like now, when the national team have qualified for a major tournament. They can’t help themselves.

So, you don’t support Scotland. That’s all fine and dandy. It’s a free country. (Well, actually, let’s not pull at that thread…) But why some of these folk feel the need to try and spoil it for their fellow countrymen and women is beyond me.

Take the other night, for instance, when Scotland played their final warm-up friendly for the European Championships against Finland. After the game, there was a video circulating on social media, posted by an indignant Rangers supporter, that purported to show Ryan Jack being booed by the Tartan Army as he came onto the pitch as a second half substitute.

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Except, it showed nothing of the sort. Instead, it showed that while Jack’s arrival didn’t exactly bring the house down, it was met with the usual smattering of applause that greets any squad player when he comes on in a friendly. I was at the game, caller, and can confirm this was indeed the reception he received.

There undoubtedly are fans who find it difficult to leave their club allegiances at the door when they come into a stadium to support Scotland, more’s the pity. When Jack really was booed by a section of the Scotland support though, shamefully, it was in a game against The Netherlands at Pittodrie, just after Jack had left Aberdeen to join Rangers.

It was still bang out of order, but hardly evidence of widespread hatred of Rangers within the Scotland support. The same applies to when massive Jambo Ian Black was booed coming on for his country as a substitute at *checks notes* Easter Road. Sometimes, it’s not all about you.

I don’t want to be seen as an apologist for this sort of behaviour, mind. I am a firm believer in the notion that at Scotland matches, you are there to support Scotland, and that means supporting the men wearing the jersey, no matter who they are or who their club side may be.

There seems though to be a desperation in some quarters to push this myth that the Tartan Army universally hate Rangers, that the feeling is mutual, and that there is no place for Rangers fans among their number. It may come, I suppose, from an attempt to justify personal distaste or disaffection with the national side. See? It’s not me, it’s them.

It’s sad, really. In many ways.

Some of the finest players to ever wear the dark blue of Scotland – and proudly, too - have been Rangers players. And contrary to popular belief, a large section of the Scotland fanbase to this day is also made up of supporters of the Ibrox club.

Just witness the passion of Ally McCoist when he is doing co-comms on the Scotland games. His reaction to Scott McTominay’s late winner against Israel a couple of years back, for example, was a joy to behold.

In recent years though - since 2014, let’s be honest - there has been a narrative developing that those of a Rangers persuasion are being turned off supporting Scotland, with the line between politics and football blurring to such an extent that your stance on the national question has come to determine your support for the national team.

I used to be one of those naïve souls who thought that politics and football shouldn’t mix, but experience has taught me that the two are innately entwined, for better or worse. You see it all the time, with people trying to tell others they can only support a certain team if they vote a certain way. Says who?

Personally, I could do without the ‘Yes’ flags and ‘Scottish Republic’ banners that are often held aloft at Scotland games, too, simply because it is the one arena where supporters of any hue in this divided nation of ours are meant to come together behind one common cause.

That cause, for the avoidance of doubt, is not Scottish independence, but the Scottish national team.

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There are also pettier reasons for some Rangers fans not to support Scotland. They don’t like manager Steve Clarke, for one, after his ‘bye bye Rangers’ schtick when he was Kilmarnock boss a few years back. Which ignores the fact that his next line was, ‘and make sure when they come next season, it’s bye bye Celtic as well’.

Ironically, historically it was a great many among the Celtic support who felt disengaged from the national team, with the perception being that their own players were treated poorly by the selectors in the old days, and then were booed when they did play. Again, to this day, a section of them do not support Scotland, with this reasoning often cited.

Maybe deep down, any Old Firm ambivalence towards the national side boils down to the simple fact that, in international terms, we’ve never really been very good. When you are used to supporting a team who wins the vast majority of the time, it must be a strange adjustment to get behind a small fish in a massive pond for a change.

But hey, if you don’t support Scotland, then your reasoning is your own. Whether you support Celtic, Rangers, or anyone else. It's a shame, in my view, but who am I to poke holes in it?

Why not extend that courtesy the other way though, and just let the rest of us enjoy the summer, eh?