Scottish Football - Journalist's wasted 6,000-mile trip to Rangers match

A Japanese journalist made a 6,000-mile trip to Scotland to watch Rangers play this weekend - only to find out on the way to the ground that the match had been called off.

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Scottish Football - Journalist's wasted 6,000-mile trip to Rangers match
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Elgin's Borough Briggs Stadium

Daisuke Nakajima had endured a 14-hour flight and five-hour train ride to get to Elgin City's Borough Briggs stadium in order to write a story for Japanese football magazine Footballista.

But it was only on reading the paper as his train headed for the town in northern Scotland that he discovered the game had been postponed thanks to a gaffe by Elgin club officials.

Nakajima was picked as the perfect man to cover a Rangers match having been the correspondent covering Celtic while Shunsuke Nakamura was playing for the Glasgow side.

And Rangers' recent relegation to Scottish football's fourth tier seemed a perfect chance for a story.

"There are a lot of fans of Scottish football in Japan and the story of Rangers is of great interest to them," he said. "The match at Elgin looked particularly interesting. I thought that covering an away game would illustrate the kind of problems Rangers face."

He wasn't wrong: the match was indeed interesting, so much so that the club accidentally sold 1,100 too many tickets - 25 per cent more than the ground's capacity of 4,500. Police had no choice but to tell the club to cancel the match rather than risk disaster at the tiny stadium.

That blunder rendered Nakajima's trip worthless, since he will be returning to Japan before the match has even been rescheduled.

But he refused to be down-hearted: not only has he become something of a local celebrity thanks to the local press coverage (as in the Daily Record, below), there's also the bonus that Nakajima's editor thinks Elgin's comic incompetence will only make the final article more interesting: "I think he considers the game being called off under these circumstances an even better story," Nakajima added.

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