The new football season is under threat after Celtic player Boli Bolingoli breached coronavirus quarantine rules.
The defender travelled to Spain – which is on the Scottish Government’s quarantine list – and failed to self-isolate upon return, before playing against Kilmarnock on Sunday.
It comes while eight Aberdeen players are self-isolating after two tested positive for the virus following a night out.
The Scottish Government said it is now in discussion with Celtic and football authorities “to establish the facts”, but added if protocols have been broken “at the risk of wider public health” a pause on the game will be considered.
In response, football fans have aired their views from the terraces.
Colin Millar said: “Any ‘pause’ in the season will affect the small people at these clubs – not the well-paid footballers. Remember there’s a lot of people employed in the background who would either be re-furloughed or may even lose their job.”
Anthony Stewart believes the clubs involved should be punished, not the whole league.
Saltire Black agreed: “Deduct points from the clubs involved, irrespective of whether the player involved the club e.g. the Celtic case.
“Where matches cannot go ahead as a result, then the match should be awarded to the opponent as a 3-0 win. Penalising clubs will bring them into line.”
Cliff Howard believes the football season should be stopped.
Posting on Facebook, he said: “Scottish football needs to be taught a lesson.
“It seems that the richer people in society have an arrogance, that they are exempt from obeying rules and laws, while the rest of us want this virus over with, so we can have a normal life again.
“The wishy-washy of letting people decide for themselves is failing badly.”
Former Celtic star Chris Sutton said there’s “no way back” for Bolingoli, whilst justice secretary Humza Yousaf agreed that the player’s actions were “utterly unacceptable”.
However, football fan Peasie Ocasio-Cortez said the reaction was “over the top”.
He tweeted that Scottish football should not be punished, nor Celtic or Bolingoli.
Just last week, eight Aberdeen players were forced to apologise after they broke Covid-19 rules by going to a bar – which was linked to a coronavirus cluster in the city.
The group of eight, made up of Sam Cosgrove, Scott McKenna, Craig Bryson, Jonny Hayes, Bruce Anderson, Dylan McGeouch, Michael Devlin and Matty Kennedy, said they made a “huge error in judgement” by visiting Soul Bar in the city centre.
Two of the group later tested positive for Covid-19. Aberdeen’s Premiership match at St Johnstone last Saturday was then postponed.
Kimberley Kamkoum questioned the reaction over the breaches compared to that of UK Government adviser Dominic Cummings.
She said: “So Bolingoli and Aberdeen players are facing calls to be sacked – which given the potential risk of their behaviour I totally get.
“But why does that wee dweeb who wrote and broke the rules still have his job? Are footballers seriously more accountable than those in politics?”
On Facebook, Chris Welsh posted: “Irresponsible of [Bolingoli] definitely, but just because one player has been irresponsible it doesn’t mean the rest of the team has to be punished.
“If anything, Celtic should make an example of him by docking his wages then suspend him from all training for putting his teammates at risk until further notice.”
Lesley Montgomery said the authorities need to “get tough and take decisive action”.
She added: “Public health is much more important than a bunch of overpaid, self-centred so-called celebrities doing their own thing and then pleading ignorance to the restrictions.
“Let them plead ignorance, because that’s what they are – ignorant.”
Chris Norton delivered a scathing response to the latest breach.
He said: “Barely two weeks into the season and footballers are living up to what most of us think of them – self-entitled, thick as mince prima donnas who think they can do what they like and to hell with the consequences.
“The rules, regulations and expectations have been clearly defined and set out to all clubs but already they’re being completely ignored when it suits it would seem.
“It just so happens that it’s been Aberdeen players and a Celtic player who have been ‘caught out’ so far so to speak, but I would sincerely doubt that they’ll be the only clubs/players who have been bending or downright ignoring the rules.
“If the government pull the plug on the football season, clubs will have no one to blame but themselves, or rather, their players.”
Responding to STV News’ poll, Susan tweeted: “The players are the ones breaking the rules. Hit them where it hurts – in the pocket.
“Unfair for the fans or workers to be punished because of some twerps.”
Following Celtic’s statement over the breach, Evelyn Baird stated it was not “stupidity but arrogance”.
She said: “With no consideration to his fellow players, not to mention family, friends and all he has been in contact with.
“What does he think we have all been following these past months?”
Cora Cumming added: “This isn’t an error of judgement – it’s a massive two fingers to the club and Scottish Government guidelines.
“He obviously thought the rules didn’t apply to him and needs taken down to size.”
Conn O’lalor said: “I’m a Celtic fan but he should be fined at least a month’s wage if not more.
“Nevermind what team he plays for, he’s endangered everyone around him and the club.”
Craig McKie believes the clubs and players involved should be punished, but not the other teams who are obeying the rules.
He added: “Fine them and share the money between clubs in lower divisions.”
On Facebook, Ian Llewellyn said: “Any club involved in breaking Covid rules should be fined heavily and deducted three points.
“The SFA and SPFL must put these measures in place now. And any players involved should be banned from football for a minimum of a month with no wages.”
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