Ibrox icon brands his former team-mate’s snub as ‘an absolute embarrassment’ for the Scottish Football Association
Ally McCoist has branded the Scottish Football Association ‘an absolute embarrassment’ over the decision to withdraw Paul Gascoigne’s nomination to the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.
Former Rangers and England superstar Gazza was set to be inducted at a dinner in Glasgow in October 21, having been nominated by the public and selected by an expert panel.
But, just nine days before the event, organisers announced they had withdrawn Gascoigne’s nomination due to ‘concerns’ over his health.
Rangers legend McCoist has slammed the decision, branding Gazza one of Scottish football’s greatest imports and insisting there is no question he deserves a Hall of Fame spot.
“It’s just another embarrassment for Scottish football,” said the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast co-host on Friday.
“There is absolutely no doubt that Gascoigne has been one of the players to brighten up Scottish football in the last 30 or 40 years.
“There have been some brilliant imports, players like Henrik Larsson, Paulo Di Canio and Brian Laudrup, but Gascoigne – it was an absolute privilege and a pleasure to play with someone of that talent.
“I actually think we got the best out of Gascoigne when he was out Rangers, and he took that to international level with England at the same time. He was playing with Rangers when he scored one of England’s greatest ever goals [that flick and volley against Scotland at Euro ‘96].
“He absolutely lit up Scottish football.”
Gazza joined Rangers from Lazio in the summer of 1995 and won two Scottish league titles and two cups in three years at the Ibrox.
He also won both Scottish player of the year awards in his first season with the Glasgow club, and played a big part in their run of nine straight league titles.
Former team-mate McCoist added: “Does he deserve his place in the Scotland Hall of Fame? You’re joking, 100 per cent he does!
“He is one of the great things to have happened to Scottish football, his three-year spell at Rangers was nothing short of sensational.
“It’s just what happens in Scottish football, they just shoot themselves in the foot all the time.
“How could you release something saying, ‘Gascoigne has been inducted into the Scotland Hall of Fame’ – great, Paul gets a boost and his fans get a boost – and then all of a sudden with nine days to go say it’s been withdrawn?
“It’s an embarrassment, an absolute embarrassment.”