Immediate return for Scottish League One and Two plus Women's Premier

Just 24 hours after a vague statement on the resumption of lower league football threw doubt over whether the season would resume again, certain clubs were given the news they craved.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 5:09 pm
East Fife have been given permission to resume their League One campaign. Pic by Kenny Mackay

The SFA on Monday had put the ball into the court of Scottish Government officials, saying they were now waiting on the green light to allow some leagues to return.

That confirmation came on Tuesday, first minister Nicola Sturgeon accepting that the Scottish Women’s Premier League 1 and SPFL League One and Two can return to football activity immediately.

However, the good news was tempered for those in other quarters with still no pathway back for the Scottish Women’s Football Premier League 2, Highland League, Lowland League, East, West and South of Scotland Leagues, Scottish Junior FA Leagues and the North Caledonian League who all remain under temporary suspension.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The SFA says it will continue to liaise with representatives of those leagues in the coming weeks.

The Scottish Cup has also been given approval to resume, with all clubs in the competition given permission to participate subject to compliance with PCR testing requirements. Revised Scottish Cup fixture dates will be announced as soon as possible.

The SPFL and SWF will also update on the respective league fixture schedules in due course.

Rod Petrie, Scottish FA president said: “The decision to temporarily suspend parts of the professional game played by predominantly part-time teams was not an easy one to take.

"None the less, given the sharp rise in infection rates caused by new strains of the virus at the start of the year, it was the right thing to do to assist the national effort to reduce its prevalence during lockdown.

“The preparatory work undertaken with representatives of affected leagues and their commitment to the inclusion of weekly PCR testing, has given ministers the confidence to permit the return of SWPL 1 and SPFL League One and Two.”

Mairi Gougeon, minister for public health and sport added: “This could only happen alongside enhanced measures to keep everyone safe, including mandatory weekly Covid-19 PCR tests for all players and staff.

“We continue to discuss with the Scottish FA and other stakeholders to ensure football at all levels can resume as soon as it is safe to do so.”