SPFL extend Covid-19 testing as Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen and Motherwell enter Betfred Cup

The Scottish Professional Football League has extended its Covid-19 testing regime to cover the second round of Betfred Cup fixtures.

Further Covid-19 testing will be required ahead of the Betfred Cup last 16 round of the weekend of November 28-29. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Further Covid-19 testing will be required ahead of the Betfred Cup last 16 round of the weekend of November 28-29. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

The last 16 of the competition is due to take place on the weekend of November 28-29 and will see this season’s European participants – Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen and Motherwell – enter the tournament for the first time.

To help minimise the risk of transmission to Premiership players, any team drawn against a Premiership club in the Betfred Cup this season is required to swab test players during the week prior to the fixture, with results provided to the SPFL by midday two days ahead of the scheduled tie.

Celtic: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

Celtic: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

Just like in Premiership league fixtures, any players who test positive and any players who are identified as a close contact of that player are required to self-isolate, so will not be able to take part in the tie.

The SPFL reiterated, should a club be unable or unwilling to field a team in a Betfred Cup second-round tie - including one which fails to provide sufficient negative test results - they will forfeit the match with a 3-0 defeat.

Should that be the case for both clubs in the tie, then lots will be drawn to determine which one moves through to the third round.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: "We are grateful for the vigilance of all clubs involved as we cope with the ongoing and significant challenges presented by Covid-19.

"The level of co-operation and mutual support from clubs across the divisions is enormously encouraging.

"Everyone recognises that we depend on each other to protect the game so that we can get back to some degree of normality as soon as possible.

"There will undoubtedly continue to be challenges as we progress through the season, but everyone in the game is determined to play their part in ensuring that the best possible football, in the safest possible conditions, is delivered across all divisions and in every competition."

The last 16 ties are: Saturday November 28 – Alloa v Hearts, Arbroath v Dunfermline, Hibs v Dundee, Livingston v Ayr United, Motherwell v St Johnstone, St Mirren v Aberdeen; Sunday November 29 – Celtic v Ross County, Falkirk v Rangers.