Referee Bobby Madden has been withdrawn from a Premiership match and told to self-isolate after contact with another match official on a foreign trip.
Madden was scheduled to take charge of Ross County v Celtic on Sunday evening but was stood down shortly before kick-off in Dingwall.
The Scottish FA apologised to Hibernian and Hamilton Academical after it emerged that Graeme Stewart, the assistant referee for their game on Saturday, should have also been self-isolating.
Madden and Stewart, along with assistant referee David Roome, travelled to Greece to take charge of Panathinaikos v Olympiakos in Athens last Sunday. The appointment was made at UEFA’s request and all arrangements were made by the Greek FA.
All three officials had tested negative for Covid twice before the game but on their return, Roome returned a positive test on Wednesday.
While it was established that all tests and UEFA protocols were followed on the trip, it was discovered this weekend that they did not necessarily meet tighter Scottish Government restrictions.
Though Madden and Stewart have subsequently returned negative tests and are considered low risk from a clinical point of view, they will self-isolate as a precaution under the close contact policy.
Madden had also been pencilled in to take charge of a Europa League match this week but will now miss out as he remains at home.
Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell said that he had carried out a review of the governing body’s actions and had reiterated the need to follow government protocols to the letter.
He also revealed that he had apologised to Hibernian and Hamilton for Roome’s involvement in their match when he should have been withdrawn from duty earlier.
“While the circumstances are complex the reality is that under Scottish Government guidelines all match officials involved in the trip should be considered close contacts,” he said.
“I have reiterated that the positive case and subsequent contact tracing should have been undertaken in line with the Scottish Government’s guidelines and the established system utilised by ESCAG.
“I have tonight apologised to Hibernian and Hamilton Academical for the unnecessary risk of having an assistant referee at a match when he should have been self-isolating, however much it is mitigated by two negative tests in the build-up to the match.
“As part of an internal review, I have asked the respective departments to ensure we maintain the highest standards of compliance relevant to Scottish Government protocols.”
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