Scottish football set to carry on despite new government lockdown

The Scottish football season will not be interrupted by the new lockdown restrictions imposed by the Scottish government.

The 2019-20 Scottish Cup Final was delayed until December due to the suspension of football and curtailment of last season due to the coronavirus crisis. (Photo by Bill Murray / SNS Group)
The 2019-20 Scottish Cup Final was delayed until December due to the suspension of football and curtailment of last season due to the coronavirus crisis. (Photo by Bill Murray / SNS Group)

All professional sports in Scotland are able to continue in line with coronavirus protocols previously agreed.

It means ongoing leagues and cup competitions at all levels of professional football in the country can carry on despite the measures announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, which come into force at midnight on Monday.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

There were fears among some clubs, notably those in the lower divisions operating with part-time players, that football might be suspended below Premiership level.

But the Joint Response Group of the Scottish FA and Scottish Professional Football League, set up last March when football was suspended as the country went into lockdown at the start of the coronavirus crisis, have received no such indication from the government.

The JRG and government advisors are understood to be content that the protocols surrounding regular Covid-19 testing and the safe staging of matches behind closed doors which have been in place since the start of this season remain sufficient for football to carry on this month, although the situation remains constantly under review.

Any suspension would place a major strain on the ability of the football authorities to complete the 2020-21 campaign on the pitch and avoid a repeat of last season’s curtailment which provoked so much controversy and rancour as final league placings were determined on a points-per-game basis.

The 42 SPFL have subsequently been unable to agree a format for how the outcome of the four divisions would be determined if they cannot be completed on the pitch this time.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.