Ex-goalkeeper turned Scottish Tory candidate backs World Cup 2030 bid

The Scottish Conservatives will push for matches to be played in Scotland if the UK and Ireland win the bid to host the 2030 World Cup, according to a former goalkeeper and election candidate.

Following the UK party’s manifesto commitment to back a bid to stage the men’s tournament, Derek Stillie said football is “in Scotland’s blood”.

The candidate for Central Ayrshire, where the SNP won a 1,267 majority in the last election, said Scottish Conservative MPs would campaign to host the tournament so Scottish cities could stage World Cup games.

Mr Stillie said: “Football is in Scotland’s blood. It’s part of our DNA. And what better way to get a new generation involved in our national game than to see World Cup games being played on Scottish soil?

“That’s why I’m delighted that our manifesto yesterday committed us to backing the 2030 World Cup bid.

“Bringing the World Cup to Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland is something we can all get behind.”

He added: “I hope the SNP come on board with this plan. The great pity, however, is that instead of finding ways to work together, all Nicola Sturgeon and her group of Westminster candidates are focused on is the division that would be created by another referendum.

“Scotland wants no more of it – and it has to stop.

“I’m taking off my gloves to stand as a Scottish Conservative MP because I want to take Scotland forward.

“So instead of sending MPs to Westminster to create more division, I’m asking people to send Scottish Conservatives like me to go to Westminster to bring back positive change for Scotland.”