SFA start planning as Scotland boss Burley sets sights on 2010 World Cup

Last updated at 13:57 20 March 2008

Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith is trying to put in

place a long-term plan for international friendlies as dates for May and August

remain unfilled.

Scotland boss George Burley called for a two-year schedule to be implemented as

Scotland hunt for opponents to prepare for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

The SFA had lined up a friendly against England at the end of May before Burley

turned down the Wembley trip as the Old Firm are planning end-of-season tours.

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George Burley

Scotland boss George Burley

There are limited replacements available at short notice, with Northern Ireland

rumoured to be a potential alternative.

And Smith has promised to take a longer-term view as he backed Burley's call

for a two-year cycle.

"That's what we are trying to put in place," he told PA Sport.

Scotland face Croatia at Hampden next week in Burley's first game in charge and

the manager wants two more matches to prepare for qualifying trips to Macedonia

and Iceland in September.

The demands of those encounters may influence the choice of friendly opponents,

but Smith added: "The type of team we are looking at is also in terms of the


"Because it is getting to the stage where we are a wee bit late in getting

friendlies done.

"In future we want to try to look further ahead for our friendly matches.

"So that's a lesson that might be brought in that we look further ahead in

terms of organising these friendly games.

"Nevertheless we think that, with the people we are talking to at the moment,

we are going to have a couple of good friendlies organised for May and August.

"We're moving on it and we're hoping by the beginning of next week we might

have one tied up. We are hoping to have news next week.

"There is the possibility of at least one of them being at Hampden."

Smith was speaking at a Show Racism the Red Card event at the national


"We can never be complacent about the fact that racists exist in our

society," he said.

"What we need to make sure is that people are embarrassed when they are making

racist comments and that it's dealt with."

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