The eight Aberdeen players who breached return to football protocols by visiting a city centre bar earlier this month will be free to face Hibernian tomorrow.
Matty Kennedy, Mikey Devlin, Jonny Hayes, Scott McKenna, Bruce Anderson, Sam Cosgrove, Dylan McGeouch and Craig Bryson were given three match bans by the SFA yesterday almost four weeks after their offence.
However, the bans are suspended until February 28 next year. They will come into effect if any of the players breach the rules again.
As a result of the decision all the players will be available for tomorrow’s trip to Easter Road to face Hibernian.
All eight Aberdeen players were forced into isolation after two of them tested positive for the coronavirus following their visit to a city centre bar on August 1. Their actions led to three of the Dons’ Premiership matches being postponed and the players being fined, with the money collected donated to the NHS.
Dons chairman Dave Cormack, in announcing the fines two weeks ago, said the club would accept the punishment meted out but boss Derek McInnes hoped the authorities would show leniency.
McInnes was pleased and relieved at the decision.
He said: “We are satisfied with the outcome of the SFA disciplinary hearing.
“As I said previously, the players have had their punishment, both from the club and via public sentiment, and I am grateful we can all now move on from this matter.
“We have an important game to prepare for on Sunday and I’m pleased for my players that they can now solely focus on trying to win a game of football.”
Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli, who travelled to Spain without his club’s knowledge and then failed to quarantine for two weeks upon his return, has been given a five-match ban. He will sit out the next three games with the final two matches also suspended until February unless he breaches the rules again.
The suspended bans will come as a huge relief for Dons boss McInnes who can now prepare his side for the trip to Easter Road.
He said: “The last two domestic wins have been hard fought and we’ve had to grind them out. Thursday was a step towards finding a bit of rhythm and hopefully we can go into Sunday’s game and get all three points.
“It will be tough. Any time you go away from home in the league you are always expecting a tough game. You have to fight fire with fire and do a lot of things right.
“It’s important we knuckle down with whatever team we pick, use the three wins to our advantage, and go into the game with confidence.
“Jack Ross is doing well there but we have an opportunity to get another three points before the international break. It will be hard fought, Hibs will be expecting a tough game and so are we.”