THE Scottish Football Association has ordered all clubs to stop training sessions and observe social distancing guidelines outlined by the government.

The game’s bosses say some teams are flaunting official advice after a meeting of their joint response group and conversations with their medical consultant Dr John MacLean,

In a statement the SFA said: “We take this opportunity to remind members in the strongest possible terms that they desist from conducting training sessions under their auspices.

“Not only is this against the guidance issued throughout the game, but it also goes against the government and UK Chief Medical Officers’ advice to delay the spread of coronavirus [COVID-19].”

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell commented: “I would urge our members, and especially our Affiliated National Associations responsible for grassroots football, to ensure clubs observe social distancing guidance outlined by government.

“While many of the instances have been anecdotal, I have seen it for myself this weekend. Please stop it. I urge everyone involved in the game to do what we can to safeguard public health as best we can.

“The message from the First Minister, which was reiterated today, could not be clearer when she said ‘the advice that is being given to people is not to be seen as optional’. That applies to football as it does across society.

“We have been in touch today with Jason Leitch, Scotland’s National Clinical Director, and his message is equally clear: do not gather in groups.

“He also outlined the importance of exercise but that it is done alone, or in very small family groups, whilst observing social distancing guidelines, and advised people to look at the many online classes now offered.”

The joint response group say they want their advice to be circulated as widely as they can including to clubs, parents, players, match officials, staff and supporters.

They added: “We consistently say that football is a force for good, let’s use that power to spread this message far and wide.”


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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