Hearts get permission to play against teams not testing for Coronavirus

Tynecastle side can now organise official friendlies
Tynecastle can now host official friendly matches.Tynecastle can now host official friendly matches.
Tynecastle can now host official friendly matches.

Hearts have been given permission to play friendlies against teams who are not testing players for coronavirus.

Scottish football’s Covid 19 Joint Response Group gave the go-ahead for the Edinburgh club to organise official matches.

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Hearts have been testing their players and staff since pre-season training began at the start of August.

Until now they had been restricted to bounce games but only against clubs who were also conducting regular tests.

That eliminated everyone outside the Scottish Premiership and created problems for manager Robbie Neilson as he sought pre-season action.

Closed-door matches against English Premier League sides Sheffield United and Burnley sandwiched a run-out against St Mirren in Paisley.

From today, Hearts can begin finalising arrangements to play lower-league Scottish teams who have not been testing for the virus.

They intend to organise games against clubs in League One and League Two, with their competitive season starting on October 6 in the Betfred Cup.

Friendly fixtures will be announced in due course and are likely to take place behind closed doors.

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