NEW ground was broken by BBC Alba yesterday when they aired the Frauen-Bundesliga match between Bayern Munich and Hoffenheim. It was an imaginative move by the Gaelic television company as it was the first live football on a UK free-to-air channel since the shut down.

The closed-doors game, which Bayern won with three goals in the last 10 minutes, was played in considerably more favourable conditions than the previous league fixture shown by the channel. That was Celtic’s 2-1 win over Glasgow City in February, when high winds and lashing rain ruined the spectacle.

Alba will show at least four more Bundesliga fixtures, and Iseabail Mactaggart, the channel’s executive on sport, said: “Knowing that live games would take a long time to resume in the UK, we were mindful to any opportunities.

“Given the Bundesliga was coming back more quickly than any other territory it was a useful offering for us. Discussions were had, and a fee was agreed. It was as disappointing to us as it was for everyone when – rightly – live sport was suspended.”

It may seem odd that games from Germany, presumably watched by a predominantly English-speaking UK audience, are going out on a Gaelic channel. That’s not a slight on knowledgeable commentator Derek MacKay, and in recognition of the language issue the channel always uses an English-speaking co-commentator – yesterday it was Scotland Under-17 coach Pauline MacDonald – for their games.

“We work very hard to make sure the game and the commentary is as accessible as possible,” Mactaggart said. “That’s where the value of co-commentators of the quality of Pauline is so important.”

Alba get to choose the games they cover and Mactaggart says Bayern versus Hoffenheim was their first option because both are competing for the second Champions League place which will be allocated to Germany next season. It will probably go to Bayern following their 3-0 win, but the title is still very much in the gift of Wolfsburg. Glasgow City’s Champions League quarter final opponents beat Cologne 4-0 in the first post-pandemic game on Friday and remain eight points ahead of Bayern.

As for MacDonald, she now wishes she had chosen to study German instead of French for her latest coaching badge. Nevertheless, she was excited to get the opportunity to co-commentate on the Bundesliga as she believes it is still the best women’s league in Europe.

“For me personally there’s more depth to the German league than there is to the English one,” she argued.

LISA Evans, who helped promote yesterday’s game, won a Bundesliga winners’ medal while at Bayern. However, she and her Scotland team-mates at Arsenal won’t be winning a second successive Women’s Super League title.

Monday’s decision not to play the season to its conclusion means top place is between Manchester City and Chelsea. When the FA board get round to making a decision it will be Erin Cuthbert and not Caroline Weir who has the medal if the title is awarded on points per game.

At the other end Liverpool could be relegated – but regardless of what is decided Scotland midfielder Christie Murray won’t be with them next season. The 30-year-old’s contract is up and she is leaving the club she joined from Glasgow City in 2018.

PHIL Neville didn’t do himself any favours in midweek when he said he had “always planned” to take the England job for three years before getting into the day-to-day running of a club.

To make the comment while still having 12 months of his contract to run was inadvisable enough, but doing it on a programme hosted by women-sneerers Richard Keys and Andy Gray was crass. Perhaps he uses the same PR company as Dominic “Rose Garden” Cummings.

THE Scottish FA slipped out Scotland’s rescheduled Euro 2021 qualifying dates under the radar on Wednesday – maybe in acknowledgement that there is no guarantee they can be played.

The running order for the games is: Cyprus (a), Portugal (h), Albania (h), Finland (a) Portugal (a) and, finally, Finland (h). The difference is the qualifiers will be played in September, October and November/December instead of April, June and September.

In particular, a great deal will need to change before the September double-header against Cyprus and Portugal can go ahead. Nevertheless, UEFA asked all 47 competing nations to reschedule their qualifiers in the new international dates and that has duly been done.