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Kicking off.

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worldcup2010.gifA week on Saturday the World Cup circus resumes, and Scotland are playing away in Macedonia, kicking off the European section

The last Euro qualifiers should be seen as the culmination of one element of our national destiny - to lose in the most courageous and unlikely manner, in the narrowest of ways. By this argument, the whole of the last phase of Scottish football, from 1974 onwards, led up to that defeat by Italy. What could be more appropriate than beating France at home and away yet still not qualifying?

So having completed that part of our destiny, I am utterly confident about qualification, and will hear no talk of jinxes. I've never been to an international tournament, but am absolutely desperate to go to South Africa for this one. By train, naturally. 

It should also be noted that the 2010 World Cup falls directly between the last date for the next UK General election and any autumn referendum on independence. How much must Salmond be desperate for qualification and any afterglow from all that 90-minute nationalism?

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