Nairn County are hopeful their Highland League opener against Clach on Saturday will go ahead after one of their club personnel tested positive for Covid-19.
Club secretary Ian Finlayson, who acts as their Covid officer, said at this stage the game was still on but that could change in the coming days.
Nairn were due to play Caley Thistle in a friendly tonight at Station Park, which would have acted as a test event for allowing 100 supporters back into the ground.
However Finlayson was told shortly after 3pm of the diagnosis and the game was cancelled, with the NHS also informed. Track and trace procedures will now likely determine whether further members of the club need to isolate.
Finlayson said: “At the moment the game on Saturday is not cancelled but we will wait and see. I imagine it will be a couple of days until we know what’s happening with Saturday and the games going forward.
— Nairn County FC (@NairnCounty) November 24, 2020
“We would hope we’re able to proceed in the manner we wanted but if games need to be cancelled or rescheduled, then so be it. (League secretary) Rod Houston is fully aware and is very supportive.
“One of the things we did at the early stage was to make sure our players downloaded the NHS app, so they were fully-informed. I contacted NHS immediately.”
The positive case was identified through the individual’s work and he had been displaying mild symptoms.
Finlayson was also keen to stress the postponement had nothing to do with the Caley Jags, as it was their decision to call the game off.
He added: “We were due to play Caley Thistle, which was going to be a test game for supporters before starting the Highland League against Clach.
“At the back of three this afternoon, one of the club personnel reported testing positive for Covid-19. We pulled the game – it was absolutely nothing to do with Caley Thistle.
“When I was informed we put into process our protocols with regards to the Scottish Government and the NHS. The person involved has gone into isolation.
“The big concern is just making sure everyone is safe. Games of football can be rescheduled.”
Nairn’s game against Clach on Saturday is a local derby and as the town sits in a level one area – under the Scottish Government’s coronavirus restrictions – a capped number of 300 fans had been permitted to attend.
Protocols had already been put in place at Station Park for their return this evening, with social-distancing measures in place in the terracing and enclosure at the ground.
Games are also all-ticket affairs and fans have to provide contact details when buying them, for track and trace purposes.
Finlayson said: “It’s heart-breakingly disappointing as we were so close to allowing fans back in to enjoy their football. To be four hours away from that is heart-breaking but the bigger picture is we have to keep everyone safe – fans, players, management and the committee. We just need to be sure of that.
“Everyone is concerned for the person involved, who did exactly the right thing when he became aware he was showing symptoms. Everything worked as it should. He was showing symptoms but not severe ones.
“This was something that always had the potential to happen but as Covid officer, that’s why the systems are in place.”