Wiegman: Scotland won’t throw England game

GLASGOW, Scotland — Scotland captain Rachel Corsie has said suggestions they will throw away the match against England on Tuesday to help Team GB’s qualification for the Olympics are “disrespectful” and a “huge insult” to the team.

If Scotland beat England on Tuesday, then Team GB’s hopes of playing at Paris 2024 will be over. England head to Scotland locked on points with the Netherlands at the top of their Nations League pool and have a three-goal deficit to make up if they are to topple the Dutch.

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There are wider ramifications to this match on Tuesday. England are the nominated team to qualify Team GB for Paris 2024, and to achieve that spot in the Olympics, they need to reach the final of the competition.

There were questions over the integrity of the match as there will be some players in the Scotland team hopeful of playing for Team GB in the Olympics. But Corsie has been angered by those questioning Scotland’s motivation.

“Truthfully I think it’s so disrespectful,” Corsie said. “To have played for my country for as many years as I have, I think it’s outrageous to question anyone’s integrity and it’s a huge insult to us.

“For us the motivation is to play for the country. It’s the pinnacle of the sport to represent your nation.”

Earlier in the day Sarina Wiegman dismissed any thoughts of Scotland going easy on England with Olympics permutations at the back of their mind. “Well, I understand the conversations about it, but if you have seen our group and if you have seen Scotland and if you know the history of Scotland England, then there’s no way that they are gonna give away this game,” Wiegman said. “They really want to beat England and we want to beat them of course.”

The Netherlands face Belgium on Tuesday evening, and they are looking to cemebnt their spot in the semifinals. Their manager Andries Jonker said this situation should not be possible.

“I know a bit about the sports history,” Jonker told ESPN on Monday. “They are huge rivals of each other. It’s hate and anger. If there’s one country that wants to beat the other, it’s Scotland with England. It’s as twisted as it can be, but I don’t think I or our small country can change it. I immediately said this shouldn’t happen at the draw. We have it in our own hands, and that’s what matters.”

When Wiegman was asked whether she understood why the Netherlands may have misgivings over the nature of this fixture and the ramifications, she said: “Well I understand that there’s a question about it but I don’t understand the rest of it, because we’ve seen historically, and also the Dutch manager knows about the history and he also mentioned that in his interview too, that he doesn’t expect that Scotland will just give it away. And they won’t.

“You saw too, that the Netherlands got a 4-0 score [against Scotland on Oct. 27], so that’s a big score too, so should I question those things too? Of course I do not.

“So let’s just say, this is football, it’s competitive, we have professional players here who really, really want to show up, England players and Scotland players, so yes I think it’s going to be a good game where everyone wants to perform at the highest level.”

Keira Walsh is expected to line up in England’s midfield on Tuesday, and she will also be hopeful of making the Team GB squad for Paris 2024 if they qualify. But she too has laughed off any notion that Scotland will do any favours for England’s hopes.

“I think nobody’s questioning the professionalism of this game,” Walsh said. “I think they’ve got some top players and like Serena said, we both want to win. So they won’t be thinking about anything else I think, we’re both gonna go out, wanna play a good game and yeah, hopefully win the game.”

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