November 24, 2020

Celtic, Aberdeen matches postponed after protocol breaches

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St Mirren v Celtic, Aberdeen v Hamilton and Celtic vs Aberdeen postponed; decision comes after Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli broke quarantine rules days after Aberdeen players tested positive for coronavirus following bar visit

Last Updated: 11/08/20 2:11pm

2:44
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said we should not expect Celtic and Aberdeen to play football over the coming week

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said we should not expect Celtic and Aberdeen to play football over the coming week

The Scottish government has postponed Celtic and Aberdeen’s next two Premiership games in response to high-profile breaches of coronavirus quarantine rules.

The move comes after Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accused players of being “incapable of living up to their responsibilities”, after Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli broke coronavirus quarantine rules before playing in their 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock on Sunday.

Bolingoli travelled to Spain ahead of the match and did not quarantine on his return – something the club were unaware of until after the game. It came just days after Aberdeen’s trip to St Johnstone was called off due to two of their players testing positive for coronavirus.

Scottish Premiership under threat – a timeline

  • Aug 1: Scottish Premiership season starts. Aberdeen lose opener 1-0 to Rangers. Eight players visit Aberdeen city centre bar after the defeat.
  • Aug 5: Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announces lockdown measures to be reimposed in Aberdeen after spike in coronavirus cases.
  • Aug 7: Aberdeen’s match at St Johnstone called off at request of government after two Dons players test positive for coronavirus after bar visit on Aug 1 that breached social distancing rules. Six more players ordered to self-isolate.
  • Aug 8: Eight Aberdeen players – Jonny Hayes, Michael Devlin, Scott McKenna, Matty Kennedy, Sam Cosgrove, Dylan McGeouch, Craig Bryson and Bruce Anderson – issue apology for bar visit.
  • Aug 8: Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths reminded of responsibilities after hosting birthday party for his girlfriend that breached government guidelines.
  • Aug 11: Scottish government threatens to to ‘pause’ Premiership after news that Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli broke quarantine rules. Celtic blast ‘irresponsible’ Bolingoli and apologise to all clubs.
  • Aug 11: Following talks between SPFL and Scottish government, Sturgeon says Celtic, Aberdeen fans should not expect to see their sides play in coming week.

Eight Dons players later issued public apologies for breaking guidelines by visiting a bar following their opening-day defeat to Rangers on August 1.

Celtic were due to face St Mirren on Wednesday, with Aberdeen scheduled to host Hamilton on the same day.

However, both matches have now been postponed – as has Saturday’s meeting between Celtic and Aberdeen, following discussions between the Scottish government and the SPFL.

2:44
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said we should not expect Celtic and Aberdeen to play football over the coming week

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said we should not expect Celtic and Aberdeen to play football over the coming week

“I don’t want the season to be in jeopardy. I don’t want people who are not responsible for this to pay the price but we have to be very clear that this situation is not acceptable,” said First Minister Sturgeon, at a press conference on Tuesday.

“We’ll set out the conclusion of the talks later today but as a minimum, you should not expect to see Aberdeen or Celtic play over the course of the coming week.

“By putting this is as clearly as I can in language that the football world will understand, consider today the yellow card. The next time it will be the red card because you will leave us with absolutely no choice.”

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