AN EXPERT has refuted Gordon Strachan’s claim that the Scottish national football team is “genetically behind” their competitors following their failure to qualify for the World Cup finals.

Professor Blair H Smith from the University of Dundee said “genetically different” would be a “more accurate” term and questioned the veracity of the claim height was the key to success.

“While there is a suggestion that genetically determined height in men is associated with social advantage the jury is still out on that one,” said Dr Smith. “In football – the subject under discussion – small height has not stopped some players being excellent, and may even have conferred an advantage.”

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Dr Smith pointed to Archie Gemmill’s famous goal for Scotland against Holland at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.

“Undoubtedly, his short stature, with his low centre of gravity, enabled him to dodge between defenders more effectively than could a taller player,” Dr Smith said.