Scotland’s long absence from international football’s top tournaments will come to an end with a return to France for the 2016 European Championship Finals – according to a model of the University of Strathclyde supported by advisory firm PwC.
The Scottish national football team has not qualified for a World Cup or European Cup since 1996 in France, and although the team made a poor start earlier this month, losing 2-1 to reigning World Champions Germany, their fortunes are expected to turn according to mathematical model of the University of Strathclyde and PwC. The model analysed 368 international matches with a particular focus on Scotland’s opponents for the qualifying tournament and subsequently, based on a number of variables, predicted the outcome of the group.
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group D table after the 1st round of matches.
The model reveals that Scotland in the worst case will make the play offs, while in another scenario Scotland will beat rivals Poland and Ireland to the second place in Group D. “Scottish fans should have every reason to be optimistic about their chances of a summer holiday in France in two years’ time,” says Nicolas Scelles, the report’s author.
Impact on Scottish football industry
According to Stuart MacDougall, a Senior Manager in PwC's sports unit team, the fate of the Scottish national football team will likely have a positive effect on the wider Scottish game. “Success for Scotland on an international stage could be the catalyst for returning some much needed feel good factor to the game, and could even give Scottish football a welcomed financial boost following the recent European disappointments,” MacDougall says.
Only time will tell if the model’s optimistic view will turn reality, yet in any case the good news for Scotland is that the chances for qualifying for the Euro 2016 Championships are higher than ever due to the change in the tournament’s setup. The UEFA Euro 2016 Finals will be the first to include 24 teams, an increase of eight from the previous tournament in Poland and Ukraine.