The Scottish Premiership has become the latest European league to postpone its season amid the growing COVID-19 viral outbreak as all levels of Scottish soccer were frozen amid the growing pandemic.
While the Scottish government left the league wiggle room to play this weekend’s round of fixtures by tabbing Monday as its cutoff date for banning gatherings of 500 or more people, the league decided to suspend all operations with immediate effect. The news comes down ahead of Sunday’s scheduled Old Firm derby between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox.
“Since the guidance outlined by governments last night we have been engaged in extensive dialogue to clarify the position and implications of that guidance for Scottish football,” said Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell.
“Today’s announcement is made in the interests of public health but, equally, the health and safety of players, match officials, and staff across the game. This is of paramount importance as the country enters the ‘delay’ phase of the coronavirus pandemic. It is also why the Scottish FA is compelled to ensure that the suspension is cascaded through the non-professional and grassroots games until further notice.”
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster noted that the league had taken into account decisions from other leagues around Europe, including that from the Premier League which came down earlier Friday morning. “We have been in intensive and detailed discussions since last night and have also been taking on board the experience of our counterparts in England and across Europe.”
“The health and safety of fans, players and officials is absolutely paramount. We have not yet had any confirmed cases of coronavirus amongst players in Scotland, but, given the nature of this outbreak, it seems only a matter of time. We realize that many people will be bitterly disappointed, and we would obviously prefer to be in a position where we can continue as normal, but that’s neither realistic nor possible.”
More coronavirus connections to soccer:
- Premier League suspends all activities through at least April 3.
- Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi tests positive for COVID-19, as does Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
- UEFA announce videoconference meeting next week to discuss plans for Champions League, Europa League and EURO 2020.
- Sampdoria and Italy striker Manolo Gabbiadini tests positive for coronavirus.
- Real Madrid players in isolation and La Liga games suspended for the next two weeks after Real basketball player tests positive for coronavirus.
- Serie A is considering alternative ways to conclude its scudetto and relegation races, including playoffs or the non-awarding of a champion.
- Juventus confirm that their defender Daniele Rugani has tested positive for coronavirus.
- Sevilla v. Roma and Inter Milan v. Getafe postponed in the UEFA Europa League due to travel restrictions between Spain and Italy.
- Olympiacos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis being diagnosed with coronavirus. Olympiacos and Forest have since confirmed all of their staff and players have been tested and their tests have come back as negative.