NICOLA Sturgeon has insisted it is "possible" large crowds could be allowed into Hampden for the summer's European Championships. 

The First Minister offered hope to supporters that they will be able to take in the Glasgow showpiece, which is due to kick off in less than three months' time. 

With restrictions set to be lifted down south by June 21 - the day before Scotland's third group match against Croatia - Ms Sturgeon today has said she hopes the same can happen here. 

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She said: "It is possible and I would love to see it happen.

"I have said before I would really like to be, personally and with some other people there, in Hampden, cheering on Scotland in the Euros come the summer. So I certainly want to see that happen if at all possible.”

Football matches have been played behind closed doors for most of this season with the Scottish Government taking a more cautious approach to allowing supporters back in than the UK Government. 

However, earlier this month, it was revealed Uefa, the governing body, was considering removing games from Glasgow due to the uncertainty of fans being allowed inside stadiums. 

The city is one of 12 hosts for this summer's delayed tournament and each one has been asked to submit their plans by April 7. 

It is the first time Scotland have qualified for a major men's competition since the turn of the century, with Steve Clarke's men also due to play Czech Republic and England in their group. 

Ms Sturgeon added in an interview with the Daily Record: “I am more optimistic about that now than I would have been just a couple of months ago.”

Glasgow Times: Steve Clarke's men are due to kick off their Euros campaign on June 14 Steve Clarke's men are due to kick off their Euros campaign on June 14

The First Minister said Scotland is at a “pretty critical stage” in its fight against the virus.

She said: “The next weeks are going to be crucial in making sure that that trajectory continues to the point where, yes, come the summer, we are living much, much more freely than we are just now, with potentially crowds at football matches, other events and families being able to meet up together normally.”

Earlier this month, a Scottish Football Association spokesman said: "We remain in constant dialogue with UEFA and Scottish Government regarding the co-hosting of the tournament in Scotland, given the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We will continue these discussions to ensure as many fans as possible can enjoy the four matches at Hampden Park."