The suspension of all football in Scotland has been extended until at least June 10 following a meeting of the Scottish FA board.
A meeting was convened remotely on Thursday, during which there was unanimous agreement to extend the initial hiatus which had been set at April 30.
The coronavirus-enforced suspension applies to all levels of the game in Scotland.
It comes before SPFL clubs vote tomorrow on whether to end the lower league season as it stands, with a decision on the Premiership to come later.
A statement read: “The Scottish FA board met via videoconference this morning to discuss the implications of the most up-to-date government and medical advice on the governing body’s suspension on football.
“Based on this advice, it has unanimously agreed to extend the suspension at all levels of the game from professional to recreational until at least 10 June.
“The board had initially suspended football until further notice and with a stipulation of April 30 at the earliest, in order to give member clubs greater certainty on player welfare and wellbeing, as well as financial clarity.”
Explaining the background, the SFA noted that its medical consultant Dr John MacLean had been providing daily updates and had also examined in detail a letter from the Scottish government’s minister for public health, sport and well-being, Joe Fitzpatrick.
In it, Fitzpatrick indicated that the current ban on public gatherings was “unlikely to be lifted for at least 13 weeks” and that NHS Scotland was currently on an emergency footing until June 10 at the earliest. That date has now been mirrored by football authorities, pending further review.
With no prospect of group training before wider social measures are relaxed and around six weeks of conditioning work needed before competitive football resumes, no earlier dates were considered.
Rod Petrie, Scottish FA president, said: “We are grateful to Dr John MacLean for his input to the Joint Response Group and to the Scottish FA board.
“The message is very clear: the government restrictions introduced to save lives must be adhered to and there is no prospect of an early resumption of training let alone organised football in Scotland for several weeks.
“The decision to suspend all football until at least June 10 is to help clubs ensure the safety and well-being of players, staff and supporters as well as take steps to mitigate their costs.
“Scottish football applauds everyone working within NHS Scotland and the care sector and should place no additional burden at a time when their resources are being tested to the limit because of COVID-19.”
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