Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and National Clinical Director Jason Leitch both provided Scottish football with a timely boost this afternoon.
Sturgeon was asked at her daily briefing whether the recent positive cases involving three Hamilton Academical players would have an effect on fans returning to stadia. Her response was morale-boosting:
“I wouldn’t say having some positive cases, which is a sign that the regime in football is working to identify and isolate cases, would be a deciding factor in the overall situation.”
That was seconded by Leitch who took part in the briefing alongside the First Minister. He stated that cases at football clubs aren’t a reason to halt fan returns, whilst he also said that he was set to receive a report on recent test events after Celtic’s clash with Ross County on Saturday hosted 300 supporters.
Leitch said: “Individual players getting positive cases through no rule breaches doesn’t seem to me to affect that trajectory, what does is increased prevalence of the virus in the community. That definitely affects that trajectory and we will have to be very, very careful.
“The other thing is the quality of the test events. We are expecting a report on these this week, I think tomorrow, but my early indications are they went very well.”
Mass panic over the odd positive test can stop
Scottish football needed these remarks from the government. It lets the country know exactly where its favourite sport stands when there is a positive case or two at a football club.
The message is clear from the government here – if football clubs isolate cases and take the appropriate actions then there’s no need for the game to receive any further blows.
It’s also refreshing to see the game praised in general by the authorities. For weeks we’ve been made to believe that Scottish football was walking on eggshells. Some positive comments are a nice change.
It will be interesting to see what the report tomorrow tells Leitch and the government about the test events too. Celtic’s game against County seemed to go down without a hitch, whilst Aberdeen released a statement saying feedback on their own test was “resoundingly positive”.
Hopefully this is all adding up to no more pushbacks for the game in Scotland. We’ve taken enough blows already this season and it can’t be any more stop-start than it has been without some real damage being done to the Premiership.
Today should be looked at as a positive for the game. For once, the government is looking across with a satisfied look on its face.