Scotland’s national clinical director Jason Leitch has issued a cautious message about whether professional sports’ seasons could finish.
Scottish football is currently suspended below the Championship, while those clubs in the second tier have also been asked by Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell about the season being put on hold at their level.
Speaking on Off The Ball, Leitch said there was still a need for caution among all involved in professional sport, as it has been given special dispensation to continue just now.
Leitch said: “If things carry on as they are just now and we manage to bring this prevalence down a little bit – there are some green shoots of deceleration, with the number of people who caught the virus in the last seven days is lower than the people who caught it in the previous seven days.
“It’s still way too high. There are 60-70 deaths every day so please do not misunderstand me. We’re sat a precarious point, maybe the most precarious point we’ve been at, but it appears these new safety measures are beginning to slow the rise.
“The restrictions we’ve got in place just now may have to continue for some time but professional leagues, if everything stays good, they could finish. The danger is if you get massive numbers of positives.
“The players, officials and coaches need to be so careful as you can wipe out a whole team quickly. A single positive spreading, or self-isolating, it’s not difficult to wipe out a whole team.”
Caley Thistle manager John Robertson had expressed his concern at the Championship continuing in his press conference on Thursday, given the reasons stated were to do with the league’s broadcast contract. Inverness’ game with Raith Rovers, which was due to take place on Saturday, was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the Kirkcaldy club.
Leitch was also asked about the likelihood of a crowd being present at Scotland’s Euro 2020 games in June, with the national side due to face Czech Republic and Croatia at Hampden Park in the summer.
He said: “I think the game will happen – things would have to go awfully bad with the virus for the game not to happen. The crowd is a huge unknown.
“I would imagine the organisations would have to take a pretty lax approach to refunds and how they’re going to manage the crowds at these games. It’s just far too unpredictable and it won’t be any more predictable 10 days from now.
“I think there will be crowd of sorts. We will be well into vaccinating the vast majority of the adult population by then; we’ll have done all the vulnerable, we’ll have done everyone over 50 and we’ll be well through the rest of the population.
“As long as the virus doesn’t do anything nasty, June will look better than January.”
Scottish FA Board confirms three-week suspension of professional football beneath SPFL Championship.https://t.co/tN2HtvfdkZ
— Scottish FA (@ScottishFA) January 11, 2021