Friday 10th July 2020

THE Joint Response Group of the SFA and the SPFL has received written approval from Scottish Government for football to restart again on the weekend of 1st August 2020.

While that will apply to the Premiership in the first instance, it an encouraging sign of recommencement – which for League One clubs means a planned return to football on 17th October, with the details of that still being examined and negotiated carefully.

The Scottish government has also confirmed that Premiership clubs can prepare for the kick-off by participating in bounce games played at club training grounds and friendly matches inside stadia with immediate effect.

These matches will be arranged behind closed doors, in line with current public health guidance, and including once-weekly testing from Monday 13 July.

The Scottish FA board will also discuss an appropriate timeline for the phased lifting of its suspension for other parts of the professional and non-professional game – including the remaining three SPFL divisions, the Scottish football pyramid, women’s football and grassroots – in light of the First Minister’s announcement on phase 3 of the government’s route map out of the COVID-19 crisis.

Details of the phased lifting of suspension will be announced shortly.

Mike Mulraney, Interim Scottish FA President: “Scottish football, and the millions of fans for whom the national game is a fabric of their daily lives, are now starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s approval of the August 1 start date for the Scottish Premiership and the ability for Premiership clubs to prepare for that kick-off immediately.

“The First Minister’s updated guidance also gives great encouragement for boys and girls across the country that grassroots football for under-18s will soon return.

“The JRG has been in daily liaison with government advisers to get us to this point. I would urge everyone to continue to adhere to the public health messages to ensure no complacency as the return to football becomes tantalisingly close.

“We will continue to plan for the return of the game at all levels and communicate milestones at the appropriate time. I would like to pay tribute to the work of the JRG, its sub groups and everyone involved in the game for the efforts that have gotten us to this point.”

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