STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

Coronavirus: Start of Highland League football season delayed

Officials say season will not get underway until November 28 at the earliest due to ongoing public health concerns.

Coronavirus: Start of Highland League football season delayed SNS

The new Highland Football League season has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A shortened campaign was scheduled to get underway on October 17.

But officials announced on Monday night that the season would not now start until November 28 at the earliest.

A Highland League statement posted on Twitter said: “The Highland League has decided to pause the start of the 2020-21 season in view of the current public health circumstances.

“The season will not start before Saturday 28th November and confirmation of that or an extension of the pause will be considered at a meeting during the week beginning Monday 9th November.

“The League Management Committee undertook a careful and detailed consideration of the current situation and felt that, all things considered, a pause was the most appropriate course of action.”

The announcement comes just days after the Scottish FA and Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) held talks with the government about a financial recovery package.

The Premiership is already underway with a rigorous testing regime in place to react quickly to any outbreaks of Covid-19.

Below the top flight though, the action has yet to start and there are questions about how it will end.

The 30 lower league clubs of the SPFL have told the national football governing bodies that they can start the season as planned.

But they have expressed serious concerns over their ability to complete the 2020/21 campaign unless fans can return to grounds, or additional external funding is secured.