Hibs and St Mirren await green light for Saturday friendly

Closed-doors game needs permission from Nicola Sturgeon

Hibs and St Mirren are hoping for the green light to play each other in a closed-doors friendly. Picture: Craig Foy / SNS

The return of Scottish football could take a significant step forward on Thursday if clubs are given the go ahead to stage friendly matches behind closed doors.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to announce the latest moves to relax Scotland’s coronavirus restrictions.

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While top-flight clubs have been given the go-ahead to resume contact training, they are still waiting for permission to play friendly clashes.

This could come on Thursday and could see matches played at the weekend, with Hibernian and St Mirren hopeful of facing each other in a closed-doors game at Hibs’ training ground at East Mains in East Lothian.

With the Premiership season due to kick-off on 1 August, Jim Goodwin, the St Mirren manager, is confident of being given the green light for the friendly.

He said: “I’ll be tuning into Nicola Sturgeon’s briefing on Thursday and hopefully we’ll get the go ahead to get back playing on Saturday.

“I’m pretty sure we will get permission. The players have only got four weekends to go before the start of the season and we need to get at least three half-decent competitive friendlies by that point.

“It’ll be strange playing against teams from our own league but that’s the position we’re in.

“It will be a good test against Hibs if we get the go ahead. We’re not allowed to go on the team bus so the boys will need to go through in cars to ensure social distancing and there will be other measures once we get to Hibs’ training ground but once we’re up and running no-one will mind.”

Goodwin has lined up further behind-closed-door matches against Hamilton and St Johnstone and is keen to get the fixtures rubber-stamped.

Scottish football has been suspended since 13 March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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