Former Aberdeen manager Alex Smith believes players are putting the immediate future of Scottish football at risk.
SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell has warned the Scottish game will be stopped if there is a third breach of coronavirus protocols.
Maxwell’s comments at the weekend come after two Aberdeen players tested positive for Covid-19 after eight visited a city centre bar while Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli took an unauthorised trip to Spain and failed to quarantine upon his return.
Former Dons boss Smith is concerned not only by the prospect of the game being on hold, but fears it will not return until the end of the pandemic.
He said: “The players are lucky the SFA has not called the whole thing off already. Ian Maxwell is absolutely right, he’ll have no option but to stop the game if there is another breach.
“A third rule break will likely mean the football won’t be back until the Scottish Government and the football authorities are satisfied the virus has gone away or a vaccine has been found.”
Smith, who has moved to Australia since his retirement from football, is not surprised at seeing players breaching protocols following a similar incident in Brisbane last week with rugby league side Brisbane Broncos.
An investigation is underway after 10 players went for a pub lunch on August 1 in breach of league biosecurity rules while several players and coaching staff are in isolation.
The chief health officer in Queensland has warned the season could be shut down if players do not follow the Covid-19 protocols.
Smith said: “They were given the chance to play and earn their money and all they had to do was abide by the rules which appear pretty simple to me but it’s almost as if the attitude among some players is that’s it is not really happening. If we can’t feel it or see it then it’s not really there. But it is there.
“At the moment, wherever you live in the world, the focus is on trying to protect people. The players have been irresponsible and I’m sure they know that now. People expect them to set the standard, not for football, but because they are high profile and we’re trying to save lives here.”
The Dons players – Matty Kennedy, Sam Cosgrove, Mikey Devlin, Craig Bryson, Jonny Hayes, Bruce Anderson, Dylan McGeouch and Scott McKenna – and Bolingoli of Celtic will discover what punishment they will face from the SFA on August 28 while both the Dons and the Hoops face disciplinary action from the SPFL.
Smith hopes valuable lessons have been learned.
He said: “They’ve slipped up big time but I’m sure they know that. It’s their clubs who will pay the heavier price depending on what action the football authorities take.”
“People have gone into hospital because off this and never returned home. We’re all at risk when out and about which is why the players were asked to stay in their bubble.
“What’s happened is so stupid. We’re living in a pandemic and it is killing people.”