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Men’s football Aberdeen v St Johnstone postponed due to coronavirus

THE Scottish government are furious with Aberdeen players, accusing them of putting the return of football at risk following a “clear breach” of coronavirus protocols.

Today’s Scottish Premiership between the Dons and St Johnston clash is off after two Aberdeen players tested positive for Covid-19 and a further six were instructed to self-isolate for 14 days after coming into close contact.

Talks on Thursday night between the league and the Scottish government ended with the game going ahead.

However, that decision was reversed on Friday morning.

Reports claim all eight were in a bar in Aberdeen on Saturday night after their team’s 1-0 defeat by Rangers, which was the first competitive Scottish football match since mid-March.

Stricter lockdown restrictions were reimposed in the city on Wednesday following an outbreak linked to pubs and bars — 79 cases had been identified by Thursday with dozens more potential cases under investigation.

One player’s positive private test was backed up by an NHS test with the other waiting for his to be verified. Both were asymptomatic. The other six players were deemed by health officials to have been in close contact with the player who definitely has the virus.

“The Scottish government is disappointed by the actions of these individuals who have put at risk the return of professional football in Scotland,” a spokesman said. “This was a clear breach of the rules that were put in place by the SFA, the SPFL and the Scottish government.

“As this outbreaks highlights, it’s imperative that these strict protocols are diligently followed in order to ensure the continued safe resumption of the sport.

“The Scottish government is clear that it is only by following the rules and keeping people safe that football is able to continue. No-one wants to see the season put at risk.

“Officials will also be meeting with all club captains and managers in the next few days to emphasise the guidelines and their importance.”

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes saw his training session cancelled on Thursday and the Dons boss will have a severely depleted squad for the Perth trip as well as subsequent games at home to Hamilton and at Celtic Park.

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack described the situation as “a bitter blow” and promised the club would be “carrying out a full investigation.”

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