Rangers affected as Scottish FA announce suspension of football in Scotland
Photo by Alex Morton - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

Rangers affected as Scottish FA announce suspension of football in Scotland

Rangers’ Scottish Cup clash with Cove Rangers scheduled for the end of January will be moved after the Scottish FA announced a suspension to all football beneath the SPFL Championship from midnight tonight.

All football in SPFL League One, SPFL League Two, Scottish Women’s Football Premier Leagues 1 & 2, Highland League, Lowland League, East, West & South of Scotland Leagues, Scottish Junior FA Leagues and the North Caledonian League will be halted for three weeks with all Scottish Cup ties slated before February 1 suspended.

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive, speaks with Rod Petrie (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Premiership will be allowed to continue, as will the Championship, allowing Rangers to largely continue as normal.

Scottish FA President Rod Petrie confirmed the move in a statment on their website as they hoped that the suspension of untested competition can help ease the spread of Covid-19.

“The Scottish FA is well aware of the efforts all clubs take to comply with the exacting protocols that were conditional on elite football being given an exemption to continue amid the pandemic,” Petrie said.

“None the less the continuation of football at all levels has weighed increasingly heavy on me as President, my colleagues on the board and the Joint Response Group as we have watched the new strain of the virus spread rapidly.

“While the national sport has been afforded the privilege of elite sporting exemption, the risk of mass transportation of untested, largely part-time players is something that cannot be sustained as the cases continue to rise and available hospital beds become increasingly scarce.

“After discussions with the SPFL, the Premiership and Championship will continue on the proviso that both adhere to the existing testing regime. The vast majority of teams in those divisions are full-time professional clubs and so the risk of transmission remains manageably low. The cost implications to lower-division clubs was one factor but so too the realisation that many – with some notable exceptions – consist of part-time players who are either prevented from working due to the virus or have to work.

“In either case, the risk is currently too great amid the developing nationwide spread of the virus.

“Much has been said of football’s relationship with the Scottish Government during the pandemic. As President of the Scottish FA and Chair of the Joint Response Group, I am grateful for the clinical expertise provided by government specifically to football and for the timely award of £30m in grant and loan funding for the game.

“We reiterate our commitment to playing our part in the collective effort to eradicate the virus.”

Rangers were due to take on the League One side at the end of the month but that will now go ahead at a later date.

Rangers were due to face Hartley’s Cove later this month (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

With the Gers still in thee Europa League, there will be few free dates to fit in additional games to make up for the further-condensed calendar.

Meanwhile, Rangers have been name-checked by an English manager as he responded to speculation regarding the future of one of his key players.