First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned fans they should ‘not expect to see Aberdeen or Celtic play over the course of the coming week’ after a series of coronavirus rule breaches.
The Scottish Government had been considering a suspension of football after Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli’s secret trip to Spain threw the season into disarray.
Bolingoli failed to quarantine for 14 days as required when he returned from Spain and the left-back came off the bench during the 1-1 Scottish Premiership draw with Kilmarnock on Sunday.
Celtic have condemned what they admitted was inexplicable and “stupid” behaviour.
News of the Belgian’s mini break emerged three days after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon issued Scottish football with a stark warning after eight Aberdeen players broke protocols with a night out.
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Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, Sturgeon said: ‘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.
‘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.
‘Consider today the yellow card. Next time it will be the red card because you will leave us with absolutely no choice.
‘We can’t have privileged football players just deciding they are not going to bother. This is just not acceptable.’
Professor Jason Leitch, added: ‘He put both his team and the opposing team at risk of catching the coronavirus.
‘Therefore there has to be an implication in public health terms for those he was in contact with and their contact with others.
‘If it had been me or the first minister who had flown to Spain for 24 hours then we would have to take that seriously.’
Celtic, meanwhile, put out a strongly worded statement earlier on Tuesday, apologising for the actions of their player.
It read: ‘Celtic Football Club unreservedly condemns and apologises for the behaviour of the player Boli Bolingoli in travelling to Spain without informing the club and in failing to observe quarantine restrictions.
‘It is difficult to imagine a more irresponsible action in current circumstances and we find it beyond explanation. The club will take immediate action through our own disciplinary procedures.
‘Celtic are in touch with every SPFL club today, and with all relevant authorities, to apologise for the fact that one of our employees has created so much additional difficulty through his actions.
‘All of our playing and backroom staff have been tested twice for Covid-19 since this incident and all, including the player in question, have tested negative. While this comes as a relief to all concerned, it in no way diminishes the seriousness or stupidity of the player’s actions.
‘It is a matter of the deepest regret to us that the behaviour of one individual has jeopardised that reputation and reflected discredit on football more generally.’
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