Old Firm derby between Rangers and Celtic off as Scottish FA suspend all football

The Scottish FA Board has suspended all domestic professional and grassroots football until further notice.

That means this weekend’s round of fixtures, including Celtic’s visit to Ibrox to face Rangers in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday, have been postponed indefinitely.

On Thursday, the Scottish government announced plans to cancel gatherings of more than 500 people from Monday in an effort to “remove unnecessary burdens” on front-line health and emergency services.

That paved the way for Sunday’s Old Firm fixture at Ibrox, which has a capacity of more than 50,000, to go ahead, but the Scottish FA have now decided to suspend all fixtures with immediate effect as the global coronavirus pandemic continues to worsen.

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA chief executive, said: “Since the guidance outlined by governments last night we have been engaged in extensive dialogue to clarify the position and implications of that guidance for Scottish football.

“Today’s announcement is made in the interests of public health but, equally, the health and safety of players, match officials, and staff across the game. This is of paramount importance as the country enters the ‘delay’ phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is also why the Scottish FA is compelled to ensure that the suspension is cascaded through the non-professional and grassroots games until further notice.”

The move from the Scottish FA mirrors that of the Football Association, who announced earlier on Friday, in conjunction with the Premier League. EFL, FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship, that all top-level fixtures in England have been suspended until April 3 at the earliest.

Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, said: “As everyone knows, this is a fast-moving and unprecedented situation for the entire country.

“We have been in intensive and detailed discussions since last night and have also been taking on board the experience of our counterparts in England and across Europe. As a result, the board of the SPFL has agreed this morning that all league fixtures this weekend and next midweek will be postponed until further notice.

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