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CELTIC AT IBROX OFF: ALL FOOTBALL SUSPENDED

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CELTIC’S Premiership visit to Ibrox at the weekend has been called OFF as Scottish football was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The SPFL and SFA made the decision to lock down all games after an emergency meeting this morning where they performed a swift u-turn in their thinking.

The governing bodies confirmed last night they would allow this weekend’s matches to go ahead as scheduled, including the champions’ encounter against Steven Gerrard’s side which was due in Govan with a noon kick-off on Sunday.

However, they have now overturned that decision and all domestic matches have been cancelled until further notice.

The statement read: “The Joint Response Group can confirm the decision of the Scottish FA Board to suspend ALL domestic professional and grassroots football under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA until further notice.

“As a result, the SPFL has announced the postponement of this weekend’s and following midweek’s fixtures, starting with tonight’s Premiership match between Motherwell and Aberdeen and the Championship match between Queen of the South and Ayr United.

“The Scottish FA and SPFL will continue to liaise with governments and UEFA in relation to domestic, European and International fixtures in the coming days and more information will be communicated at the appropriate time.

“The Scottish FA Board made its decision in the interests of the health and safety of players, match officials, staff, supporters and the general public.”

The news follows the announcement from England that all Premier League and EFL fixtures have been postponed until April 4 and 3 respectively.

The English FA have also postponed their international friendly matches against Italy and Denmark, scheduled for March 27 and 31.

The decision was agreed at an emergency club meeting and in light of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, the former Rangers star, and Chelsea midfielder Callum Hodson-Odoi confirming they had tested positive for the virus.

Arteta will self-isolate in line with government health guidelines and it is expected the first-team squad – along with coaching staff – will do the same; Arsenal’s game against Brighton on Saturday had already been postponed as a result.

The entire Everton first-team squad has been placed in isolation after a player reported coronavirus symptoms and Watford have cancelled training this week with several players informing Nigel Pearson they feel unwell.

Five members of staff at Bournemouth, including ex-Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc, are self-isolating because they are displaying symptoms consistent with the virus.

Brendan Rodgers also confirmed three of his players are being kept away from the rest of the squad.

 
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