When spread of Covid in the UK was at its peak in March, two days before Celtic were due to play in front of 50,000 at Ibrox, the SFA took a decision that should have come from Government – football at all levels would stop until they knew how to resume, without endangering the health of players and spectators.
During this period, government ministers and their public health advisors were still happy to send untested patients from hospitals with Covid infections to care homes, pubs and clubs were open, and trains were packed with commuters. These were fatal errors, literally fatal. When the next history of the SFA is written, the Association should get enormous credit that they took the painful steps necessary while governments in both Edinburgh and London froze.
Indoor social and entertainment venues, like pubs, are again open. Outdoor venues, like football stadiums, with their easy to enforce social distancing measures and far lower risk of virus infection, remain closed. The same government ministers who were caught in the headlights in March, again appear incapable of acting in a coherent and evidence-led manner.
Opening pubs while keeping football stadiums closed has nothing to do with public health. No evidence is offered to support this position because none exists. It is a random and incongruous act from a government that knows it sat on its hands while football took painful but responsible steps in March, and which has transformed its stadiums in the subsequent months to make them fully compliant with government safety advice.
Only the Holyrood cabal know why they allow you to watch football at an indoor pub but not an outdoor stadium. It is a terrible policy and shows that their Covid public health strategy remains an evidence-free lottery.
I can’t help but think we are in this mess because Boris Johnson is a disaster of a human being and Nicola Sturgeon’s personal best interests are served if she adopts close to, but not exactly the same as, his policies.