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Scotland deaf football team launch fundraiser to get them to European championships in Turkey

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A fundraiser has been launched to help get the Scotland men’s national deaf team to the European championships this summer.

It is the first time the team has made the competition, but the squad needs £40,000 to pay for the trip to Turkey.

Glasgow dad James Murphy, whose son Nathan is part of the team, said the players are desperate to represent their country.

Mr Murphy told Sky News it’s an opportunity for the men to fulfil a lifelong dream as it is the first Euros they have been involved in and is the biggest competition they have qualified for to date.

Mr Murphy, a committee member of the Scottish Deaf Football Association (SDFA), said it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, adding: “It means so much to all of the players.

“Some of them would never have had a chance to do this. Life is difficult as it is being deaf – it has many, many challenges.

“So, to be able to have a chance to represent the country, and knowing that people are behind you, is emotional.”

It is going to be a huge summer of football with Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad preparing for the UEFA Euro 2024 competition in Germany.

The European Deaf Football Championships 2024 will take place in Turkey between 20 May and 1 June.

The SDFA, which was founded in 1889, does not receive financial support from its national organisations so has launched a fundraiser to help get the team to the competition.

More than £7,600 has been raised so far to pay for the travel costs and accommodation.

It is hoped the squad will reach their goal by the end of April.

‘We will do anything we can’

Mr Murphy said: “We are going to go. We are desperate to go. We will do anything we can – we are not going to back out of this.

“It would be really nice to get the help from the public. We’ve got faith.”

He praised all those who have donated so far and is hopeful businesses will give their backing.

Mr Murphy said the Scottish Football Association (SFA) has not provided any funding but it is understood it will loan shirts for the team to play in.

The SFA has been contacted for comment.

‘There’s no money’

Mr Murphy said he appreciates that many organisations will be raising funds for the 2024 Summer Paralympics.

He added: “There’s no money, you know. We don’t want to knock the SFA or anyone as we know that money is a big, big thing right now.

“Everyone is asking for money, so there’s less money to go around.”

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The Scottish squad is made up of all ages and professions.

Mr Murphy’s 21-year-old son, who studies football coaching, performance and development at Napier University in Edinburgh, has been supported in the sport by Kenny Fraser, who helps to bring young deaf players together to compete.

Mr Murphy said some of the Scotland players have come from Mr Fraser’s grassroots competitions and playing in the Euro championships could inspire younger generations to follow their own dream to play for their country.

He added: “There’s 4,000 deaf kids out there in Scotland. There’s an inspiration there – if they can see that we can get out there and play for Scotland, then they can do that as well.”

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