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First Minister warns fans not to expect to see any sporting action soon

By Will Clark

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FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned fans they should not expect to be watching sporting action any time soon.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned fans not to see any sporting action soon. Picture: Gary Anthony
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned fans not to see any sporting action soon. Picture: Gary Anthony

She says capabilities must be in place to ensure people can safely travel to arenas and stadiums to ensure there are no rises in coronavirus cases again.

The Scottish football and shinty season was suspended on Friday March 13 with the rugby season declared null and void due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Scottish football season has been suspended until at least June 10, with the Premiership campaign continuing to be postponed despite the season ending for the Championship, League One and League Two.

But speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, Sturgeon says measures must be put in place before considering allowing mass gatherings again.

She said: “I am not in a position to say when things will start again and when things will go back to normal.

“People should not be under the impression mass gatherings will not be starting any time soon.

“We must make sure we are doing everything we can to compress this virus.

“As we start to lift restrictions, we need to make sure we have the capabilities in place through testing and isolation to replace those restrictions.

“But to continue to have the understanding some form of social distancing will be required to the point where a vaccine is available.

“We want to get a semblance of normality back into people’s lives for all sorts of reasons as quick as possible.

“But we can’t do that in a way that risks a resurgence of this virus and all the things we have tried to avoid coming again.

“It is not good news for the majority of population who have sport as an important part of our culture and leisure time.

“But it would be wrong for me to give false expectation of resumption football matches, rugby matches or large scale sporting event.”

There has been discussions of sporting events taking place behind closed doors, but Sturgeon says that could also result in problems.

“In terms of closed doors there are issues of if that takes away the risk of big events.

“If a match is played behind closed doors but is still on television is there a risk people will congregate to watch it together.

“They will be carefully considered and we’ll share as much of that as we can.”

Last week, Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor said the club would not be selling season tickets over fears social distancing could result in only a maximum of 480 fans into the 6500 capacity Global Energy Stadium next season.

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