Coronavirus: Scottish football matches postponed after Celtic player’s secret trip to Spain | UK News


Three Scottish football games have been postponed following violations of the coronavirus lockdown rules by players from Aberdeen and Celtic.

Celtic’s game against St Mirren and Aberdeen’s game against Hamilton Academical, both due to be played on Wednesday night, will now be postponed.

And Celtic and Abderdeen’s game on Saturday was also postponed.

The action comes after Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli made a secret trip to Spain and did not isolate himself on his return.

The Belgian player then came off the bench in Celtic’s Scottish Premiership game against Kilmarnock on Sunday.

The Scottish government has added Spain to the list of countries where returning travelers had to be quarantined for 14 days following a decision that took effect on July 26.

Boli Bolingoli (right) played Celtic’s game with Kilmarnock on Sunday

The Scottish FA and the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) said in a statement that “while the decision to postpone these matches is deeply regrettable, it is nonetheless inevitable and indisputable under the circumstances”.

They were “stunned to learn of the recklessness shown by Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo in his violation of government guidelines on public health and football protocols,” the statement added.

“We echo the sentiments of Celtic FC in their sentencing statement and welcome the club’s speed in opening a disciplinary investigation.

“For this to come on the backs of eight Aberdeen players showing a similar disregard for public health is disrespectful not only to every football teammate, player and colleague, but also to every fan in this country.

“It also seriously damages the image, reputation and durability of the game.”

Celtic manager Neil Lennon described himself as “livid and dismayed” by a “total betrayal of trust” by Bolingoli.

Abderdeen had previously seen their game against St Johnstone, which was due to be played on August 8, postponed after two of their players tested positive for COVID-19 and six others were asked to self-isolate after a night out at a bar in the downtown.

The group apologized for violating social distancing guidelines on the number of households allowed to meet.

A few days after the visit to the players’ bar, strict lockdown measures were re-imposed on Abderdeen following a spike in coronavirus cases in the city.

More than 20 pubs, bars and restaurants were linked to the cluster of infections.

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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Scottish football he was receiving a ‘yellow card’ following the lockdown violations as she warned matches could be completely suspended if there were further incidents.

“Next time, it will be the red card because you will give us absolutely no choice,” she said.

Neil Doncaster, FPSL Managing Director, said: “We were only able to resume the games thanks to the tremendous effort and sacrifice of literally thousands of people throughout the Scottish game.

“That anyone who puts this at risk in such a thoughtless and selfish way is just amazing.

“The vast majority of players and officials who have strictly observed the necessary restrictions will rightly see it as a real kick in the teeth.

“Everyone knows this season’s fixture list is already horribly tight without having to postpone games due to the irresponsible actions of a handful of players. “


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