Gazza Hall of Fame decision - Hypocritical or sensible?

Was withdrawing Paul Gascoigne Scotland Hall of Fame nomination the right call?

A nomination for Paul Gascoigne to be inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame has been withdrawn after top SFA Directors reportedly planned to boycott any event.

His move to Rangers is one of the most iconic moments in Scottish football history. Gascoigne brought the world’s footballing gaze here. He is already immortalised for it.

But if anyone deserves to be recognised for their influence, he does. Fewer players have had such a momentous outside impact on Scottish football before or after.

So why has this move been halted?

The arrival of Paul Gascoigne was huge for Rangers and Scottish football. Mandatory Credit: David Rogers/ALLSPORT

Hypocrisy at play?

Listen, no one is defending Paul Gascoigne. The England superstar’s toils with alcoholism and domestic violence are very well documented. Off the field, the midfielder’s life has been full of controversy.

Judge him for all of this if you want. But an award like this should be based purely on his footballing ability and legacy.

Mandatory Credit: Mark Thompson/Allsport

If you’re going to start striking names off the register for some sanctimonious sense of judgement, then how many of Scotland’s Hall of Famers need the same treatment?

The SFA even currently employ Malky Mackay, who has himself been involved in racist controversy. It would be foul play if certain beaks at the SFA quoted his past as a reason for denying him the award. Everyone has a past. This is about football.

According to Sky Sports, one Director who’d boycott the award said that he felt the induction of Gascoigne was “inappropriate from a moral perspective”.

The only justifiable reason for this move would be Gazza’s current inability to receive it. If the man is not in a fit and proper state of mind to accept the award, or risks embarrassing himself and the game here in doing so, then it would be the right decision.

You’re only setting him up for a fail otherwise.

But why wouldn’t they then just delay it? Something stinks. If someone is putting Gascoigne through the ringer for their own petty grievances it is disgraceful.

This will hurt Gazza

Paul Gascoigne is quite simply one of the best British footballers of all time.

The midfield maestro was a magician with the ball at his feet. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who disputes that.

Paul Gascoigne with Deontay Wilder in Belfast in early August 2018. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Off it, he’s still one of Britain and football’s most loved figures. Anyone who played with him or knows him testifies to that. A joker with a heart of gold. But a man with many demons.

If it turns out there is foul play in denying him it is a sad, sad indictment of our game. The mere fact that they nominated a man who’s issues have been well publicised, then publicly humiliated him like this is shocking.

Gazza’s legacy and impact doesn’t deserve that at all. His footballing impact deserves the opposite. It deserves this recognition.

Because it is unlikely Scotland will ever see such a talent again.

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