Coronavirus: Nicola Sturgeon 'pretty furious' with Aberdeen players as Premiership game cancelled

Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen Credit: PA

Aberdeen FC's game against St Johnstone has been postponed after two players tested positive for Covid-19.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was "pretty furious", calling the behaviour of some Aberdeen players "completely unacceptable" after they broke lockdown rules by visiting a bar.

Saturday’s Scottish Premiership game was cancelled after a U-turn by the government.

Six more Aberdeen players were instructed to self-isolate for 14 days after coming into close contact with the two that tested positive for the Covid-19.

Aberdeen was placed into a local lockdown on Wednesday after a spike in coronavirus cases was linked to bars and pubs in the city.

Sturgeon said: “It is now clear that all eight of these players visited a bar in Aberdeen on Saturday night.

"In doing so they blatantly broke the rules that had been agreed between the SFA (Scottish Football Association), the SPFL (Scottish Professional Football League), and the Scottish Government which, to put it mildly, is completely unacceptable.

“We are asking members of the public to behave in a highly precautionary manner and when a football club ends up with players infected with Covid – and let’s remember this is not through bad luck but through clear breaches of the rules – we cannot take even a small risk that they then spread the infection to other parts of the country.”The Scottish Government accused Aberdeen players of a “clear breach” of coronavirus protocols on Thursday but stopped short of postponing the game.

That decision was reversed on Friday morning.

Nicola Sturgeon wearing a mask. Credit: PA

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack said he “fully understood” why the game had been postponed.

In a statement published by the club, Cormack said: “Regrettably, what has happened in the last few days has undermined all the hard work that has gone into keeping our players and staff safe.

"We are now dealing with this internally with the seriousness it deserves."

St Johnstone said in a statement: “This weekend’s Scottish Premiership fixture against Aberdeen at McDiarmid Park has been postponed.

“The club is disappointed at the news of this postponement but the health and wellbeing of everybody is of paramount importance in this situation.”

A statement from the Scottish football authorities’ Joint Response Group added: “There is an evolving public health outbreak in Aberdeen and the minister conveyed the need for additional work to provide further assurance around Aberdeen FC’s adherence to the agreed protocols.

“Given the overriding responsibility to public health, the subsequent advice and discussion with the minister this morning means that the Joint Response Group must adhere to the request to postpone the match.”