THE SFA have asked the SPFL to consider postponing two rounds of Premiership fixtures after football restarts next season to increase Scotland’s chances of reaching the Euro 2020 finals.

The national team are set to take on Israel at home in the play-off semi-final on Thursday, October 8, and then, if they win that game, either Norway or Serbia away on Thursday, November 12.

Steve Clarke, the Scotland manager, would like his home-based players to have free weekends before those huge matches to give them more time to prepare.

Clarke appealed to the SPFL not to play any top flight games on the Sunday before the Israel game on Thursday, March 26, before it was called off due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The governing body were unable to accommodate that request - but Clarke is hopeful they will be able to come up with “a sensible solution” on this occasion. 

“We have already made representations to the SPFL,” he said. “They obviously haven’t released fixtures for next season yet, but we have asked them to treat us as kindly as they possibly can in the lead-up to those games.

“Realistic terms would be cancellation of the SPFL fixtures for the October game. So a free weekend, which would give us more than half the squad free and nice and relaxed into the Israel game.

“And a provisional cancellation for the second game in November because if we get through the first game the second game becomes really important as well. That is what we would hope for.

“Listen, I understand the complexities of fixtures and scheduling and the needs of individual clubs with European games. You will have all the problems that we had leading up to the March game in October and November, but hopefully we can find a sensible solution.”

Scotland will have to play three away games in the space of six days in November if they win their play-off semi-final; they are due to play Slovakia and Israel in the Nations League on November 15 and November 18 respectively.

Clarke revealed that Ian Maxwell, the SFA chief executive, had been unsuccessful in an attempt to have one of the Nations League matches rescheduled.

“The SFA was asked by Police Scotland not to schedule a home fixture in November because there was a large conference (the United Nations Climate Change conference) being held in Scotland at that time, which obviously has been cancelled now,” he said.  

“Ian spoke to one of the other countries and asked if they would be willing to switch their fixture, but they politely declined because it would have put them in the same situation that we’re in.

“It’s something we are going to have to deal with. Hopefully it is three games in six days because that will mean we have been successful and qualified for the final. If that’s what it is we will deal with it. We don’t look for excuses.”