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Coronavirus outbreak: All Scottish football fixtures postponed until further notice

© Alan Harvey / SNS GroupSunday's Old Firm game has been called off
Sunday's Old Firm game has been called off

The Scottish FA has postponed all domestic professional and grassroots football until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Fixtures were due to go ahead this weekend, including Sunday’s Old Firm clash at Ibrox, but all league competitions have now been suspended.

It follows a meeting of the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League’s joint response group.

In a statement, the joint response group said it had been decided to suspend “all domestic professional and grassroots football under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA until further notice”.

It added: “The Scottish FA and SPFL will continue to liaise with governments and UEFA in relation to domestic, European and International fixtures in the coming days and more information will be communicated at the appropriate time.

“The Scottish FA Board made its decision in the interests of the health and safety of players, match officials, staff, supporters and the general public.”

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive, said that the group had been ‘engaged in extensive dialogue’ on the implications of the Scottish Government’s guidance on coronavirus yesterday.

He said: “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.”

Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, added: “As everyone knows, this is a fast-moving and unprecedented situation for the entire country.

“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. As a result, the board of the SPFL has agreed this morning that all league fixtures this weekend and next midweek will be postponed until further notice.

“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 realise 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.”