Scottish game off after 8 players who went to bar get virus

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — The head of the Scottish government said on Friday she was “furious” two Aberdeen players who later tested positive for the coronavirus had visited a pub, and warned the Scottish Premiership was being risked.

Saturday’s match between Aberdeen and St. Johnstone has been postponed following Scottish Government intervention after eight Aberdeen players were told to self-isolate on Thursday.

All eight visited a bar on Saturday in the city, which has been the subject of stricter local lockdown rules since Wednesday due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the players “blatantly broke the rules” agreed to between the government and football authorities to allow the new season to begin last weekend during the pandemic.

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“Footballers not only risk compromising the sporting bubbles but high-profile footballers in a city center bar also pose a risk of attracting crowds and other people,” Sturgeon said.

“The Scottish Government will also be contacting all club captains and managers to emphasize the importance of complying with the guidance,” she added. “I am trying to be diplomatic but I am pretty furious about this situation because it shouldn’t have happened.”

Scotland couldn’t complete last season, which was halted in March before being abandoned.

“The decision to allow elite sport to get up and running again wasn’t taken lightly,” Sturgeon said. “There were a lot of reasons to be quite nervous about it.

“But we gave it the go-ahead because a lot of work went into agreeing the guidance that underpins it. If that guidance is not going to be adhered to, then all bets are off. So let’s hope this is a salutary lesson to everyone.”

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