Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has said the Scottish Government should not be “too cautious” and prevent fans from watching Scotland play in the Euros at Hampden this summer.
The men’s team made it to its first major tournament since 1998 following a penalty shootout win against Serbia.
But Covid-19 could prevent fans from being able to be in grounds to watch Euro 2020 ties, some of which will take place at the national stadium in Glasgow.
Mr Ross, himself an assistant referee, said it was important to allow fans to watch the national team play.
Football body Uefa has set an April 7 deadline for plans to be submitted to allow spectators at games.
He told journalists on Friday: “I’m making it very clear that if we look at test positivity, if we look at the number of people in hospital, if we look at the number of people in ICU and, importantly, if we look at the 2.5 million people across Scotland who have the protection of the first dose of the vaccine, these are all signs that we can cautiously allow spectators back into stadiums.
“That’s why I’m urging the Scottish Government to give us this opportunity as fans of the Scottish national team.
“It’s been a long time since the men’s team qualified for a national tournament – we want to get as much support in there as possible.”
He added: “It’s an open air stadium so the chance of infection is reduced, it’s not completely eradicated, but the signs are very positive that in the outdoors we can safely get spectators back in.
“I think that’s something a lot of people can get behind, of all teams – it just adds to atmosphere.”
Mr Ross attacked the Scottish Government for what he described as “dithering”, adding: “All our sacrifices have helped to suppress the virus and it would be unfortunate if the Scottish Government made a wrong call on this.
“I have always said that public health is paramount but there is the risk of being too cautious here. This is a time for optimism.
“We have seen other countries allowing fans into sports venues in a safe and responsible manner. We can do the same, at the right capacity to ensure fans are not put at risk.”
A spokeswoman for the SNP said: “Nicola Sturgeon has already made clear that she very much wants to see the Tartan Army at Hampden for the Euros matches – but getting fans back into stadiums all depends on continued progress in suppressing the virus.
“That’s the responsible thing to do and the approach that most people will agree with – not Douglas Ross’s reckless and opportunistic call to have an immediate return to mass gatherings come what may.”