Sunday's Old Firm postponed as Scottish football announces immediate suspension

Scottish football has announced an immediate suspension, with games postponed until “further notice”.

Sunday's Old Firm postponed as Scottish football announces immediate suspension

Scottish football has announced an immediate suspension, with games postponed until “further notice”.

The Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League’s joint response group has decided to call a halt to action in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

It means Sunday’s Old Firm clash between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox has been postponed.

Friday night’s meeting between Motherwell and Aberdeen plus four other fixtures across the weekend also face being re-arranged.

In a statement, the joint response group said it had been decided to suspend “all domestic professional and grassroots football under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA until further notice”.

It added: “The Scottish FA and SPFL will continue to liaise with governments and UEFA in relation to domestic, European and International fixtures in the coming days and more information will be communicated at the appropriate time.

“The Scottish FA Board made its decision in the interests of the health and safety of players, match officials, staff, supporters and the general public.”

Ian Maxwell, SFA chief executive, added: “Since the guidance outlined by governments last night we have been engaged in extensive dialogue to clarify the position and implications of that guidance for Scottish football.

“Today’s announcement is made in the interests of public health but, equally, the health and safety of players, match officials, and staff across the game. This is of paramount importance as the country enters the ‘delay’ phase of the coronavirus pandemic (response).

“It is also why the Scottish FA is compelled to ensure that the suspension is cascaded through the non-professional and grassroots games until further notice.”

His SPFL counterpart Neil Doncaster also said: “We have been in intensive and detailed discussions since last night and have also been taking on board the experience of our counterparts in England and across Europe.

“As a result, the board of the SPFL has agreed this morning that all league fixtures this weekend and next midweek will be postponed until further notice.

“The health and safety of fans, players and officials is absolutely paramount. We have not yet had any confirmed cases of Coronavirus amongst players in Scotland, but, given the nature of this outbreak, it seems only a matter of time.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox