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Celtic and Aberdeen fined by SPFL over coronavirus breaches

The clubs were punished over the behaviour of their players during lockdown.

Celtic and Aberdeen fined by SPFL over coronavirus breaches SNS

Celtic and Aberdeen have both been fined by the Scottish Professional Football League after their players broke rules designed to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli travelled to Spain and then played a league match without quarantining or informing his club, while eight Aberdeen players went out to a city centre restaurant and bar together.

Their actions brough widespread criticism, including from government, and the players were all punished by the Scottish FA.

The league body took action against the clubs for failing to adhere to strict rules.

Both clubs argued that they had taken substantial steps to observe the protocols in place for the return in play.

A sub-committee of the SPFL heard evidence from both at a disciplinary hearing before finding that the clubs did breach the rules.

Both were fined £30,000 but will only pay £8000 initially, with the remainder of the fine only payable if there is another issue before the end of the season.

A spokesman for the SPFL said: “Aberdeen FC and Celtic FC demonstrated that they had gone to enormous lengths to ensure that their players adhered to all relevant requirements and protocols relating to Covid-19.

“However, the requirement of individual players to adhere to their clubs’ carefully-designed protocols is a matter of personal and professional responsibility on the part of those players.

“That the players involved ignored the strict and comprehensive requirements set down by Scottish Football, by their clubs and by the Scottish Government, is obviously a serious issue, but given the lengths to which the clubs had gone in each case to seek to ensure compliance by its players, the SPFL Board sub-committee suspended the majority of the fines imposed.

“The fact that adherence to social distancing and other regulations has been assiduous in the intervening period is obviously something we welcome, and we congratulate players, staff and officials for taking a leading role on these important issues.”