Scottish lower league seasons remain on pause as Scottish Government decides against February return

Football below the Scottish Championship will remain suspended until at least March after the Scottish Government decided against ending the hiatus this month.

The Scottish FA have said the decision is "regrettable". Picture: SNS
The Scottish FA have said the decision is "regrettable". Picture: SNS

Clubs in League One and League Two had been hopeful of getting things started again shortly, but the next review date will not take place until March 1 as the government wants to see case numbers fall dramatically across the country before giving the go ahead.

All football below the top two divisions, including the Scottish Cup and the women’s game, were suspended last month as clubs were unable to commit to weekly testing of players.

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Though the number of positive cases and deaths have begun to reduce in recent weeks, the country remains in a state of lockdown and government officials don’t wish for the restrictions on football to be lifted while others remain in place.

It remains to be seen what impact this will have on the League One, League Two and SWPL seasons and whether the 2020/21 Scottish Cup can be completed.

An Scottish FA statement read: “In recent weeks, the Scottish FA has engaged extensively with clubs and leagues affected by the suspension of professional football across the men’s and women’s game to discuss tailored return to playing plans for implementation when it is considered safe and appropriate to resume.

"We have also remained in regular dialogue with Scottish Government to ensure their input into and ultimately approval of those proposed plans.

"Regrettably, the government has today confirmed that - in cognisance of the current restrictions in place across the country - they cannot currently commit to return dates for those affected leagues in the coming weeks.

"We will continue to speak with all parties in the meantime and will provide a further update by 1 March.

"This date should not be seen as a proposed restart date, however it should help provide some clarity to affected clubs to aid their planning over the short term.

"Whilst this is disappointing news, Scottish football will continue to play its part in assisting the Scottish Government’s efforts to reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 across the country."

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