THE former head of the campaign to save the Union is facing a backlash after berating Scots for not supporting England and Wales in the European football championships.

Blair McDougall, the former director of Better Together ahead of the 2014 referendum, wrote on social media that he felt "sad" for people in Scotland who couldn't support the other teams in the UK taking part in the competition, especially as the England team is managed by Gareth Southgate.

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"Maybe it’s easier for me because I have English and Welsh family, but I feel sad for people who can’t find it in themselves to avail themselves of the opportunity we have to support three home nations. Especially when Southgate’s leadership makes it so easy," tweeted the former Labour parliamentary candidate.

Journalist and Scotland supporter Andrew McFadyen hit back: "England is a wonderful country - the home of George Orwell and the Beatles - and many of my closest friends. But this is like asking me to support Rangers because I have family on the south side, not a chance."

James McEnaney, lecturer and education commentator, responded: "This is just the most boring, bullshit take going re: the football.

"Countries have rivalries and if that's somehow upsetting maybe you need to try growing up a bit.

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"Should we 'avail ourselves' of the opportunity to support several clubs from the same city as well?"

A third Scotland supporter noted: "I canny imagine Dutch supporters being castigated for not supporting Germany or French for not supporting Italy."

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Michael McMonagle tweeted: "I have English family. I have English friends. I have English grandchildren. Every one of them is sufficiently educated to know why England are not popular at international competitive events. Your 'better together' fantasy is cute but not based in any reality."

James Sellar posted: "The good old if you don't support England you're a devisive nationalist analogy! How tiresome is this.

"I didn't want England to win since as long as I can remember for the same reasons I don't want Invermess CT to win as I'm a county fan. It is sport!!!"

England play Scotland at Wembley in Euro 2020 on Friday.

An intense rivalry between the two teams dates back to their first match in 1872, at Hamilton Crescent, Glasgow which Fifa recognises as the first international football match in history. It resulted in a goaless draw.

The last time the two teams met was in 2017, when a stoppage-time equaliser from England's Harry Kane resulted in a 2-2 draw.