Scots could not be more proud of the women’s national football team as they gear up for the World Cup, MSPs have been told.
Shelley Kerr’s side will make their first ever appearance at the finals on Sunday when they take on England in the French city of Nice.
It comes after the Scots smashed their record home attendance last week when 18,555 people turned out to see their 3-2 win over Jamaica at Hampden.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney told the Scottish Parliament: “I know I speak for the whole chamber when I say that the Parliament and the people of Scotland could not be prouder of Shelley Kerr, her staff and the squad.
“We will all be cheering them on every step of the way in the Women’s World Cup.”
He spoke in answer to a question from SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson on figures showing that the number of women and girls playing football has almost doubled in the last five years.
Mr Swinney said the presence of Scotland’s women’s national team in the Fifa competition represented an excellent opportunity to increase participation further.
“The fact that so many supporters turned out at Hampden is an indication of the growing enthusiasm and support for the women’s game,” he added.
“We’re all rooting for the women’s team on Sunday. We wish them well in the whole of the competition and I know for a certain fact they will do Scotland proud.”