Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli and eight Aberdeen players charged over coronavirus rule breaches

Boli Bolingoli and eight Aberdeen players have been charged by the SFA after high-profile breaches of coronavirus quarantine rules.

Celtic defender Bolingoli – who did not quarantine after returning from a trip to Spain – and Aberdeen’s Jonny Hayes, Scott McKenna, Sam Cosgrove, Craig Bryson, Bruce Anderson, Dylan McGeouch, Matty Kennedy and Michael Devlin, who visited a bar following their opening-day loss to Rangers, have been charged.

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The nine players will will face two charges – one of failing to comply with regulations and another of bringing the game into disrepute.

The SFA has also opened disciplinary proceedings against both clubs for alleged breaches of its coronavirus testing regulations.

Aberdeen confirmed the players have been “fined heavily” following an internal club investigation.

The Scottish Premiership clubs have both had their next two league games postponed and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accused players of being “incapable of living up to their responsibilities”, after Celtic’s Bolingoli broke coronavirus quarantine rules before playing in their 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock on Sunday.

Bolingoli travelled to Spain ahead of the match and did not quarantine on his return – something the club were unaware of until after the game. It came just days after Aberdeen’s trip to St Johnstone was called off due to two of their players testing positive for coronavirus.

Eight Dons players later issued public apologies for breaking guidelines by visiting a bar following their opening-day defeat to Rangers on August 1.

Sturgeon: Consider this a yellow card

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned clubs that the Premiership season could be suspended if there are further breaches of coronavirus protocols.

“I don’t want the season to be in jeopardy. I don’t want people who are not responsible for this to pay the price but we have to be very clear that this situation is not acceptable,” she said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“We’ll set out the conclusion of the talks later today but as a minimum, you should not expect to see Aberdeen or Celtic play over the course of the coming week.

“By putting this as clearly as I can in language that the football world will understand, consider today the yellow card. The next time it will be the red card because you will leave us with absolutely no choice.”

Three strikes and out for Scottish football?

Sky Sports News’ Charles Paterson:

“If anything, Nicola Sturgeon is even more angry today than she was last Friday when she addressed the issue surrounding the Aberdeen players, who of course went to a bar over a week ago with two of them then testing positive for Covid-19 and six others self-isolating.

“She described that as ‘unacceptable’ then, and the message has not got through obviously to some players. Nicola Sturgeon has made a point of putting Scottish footballers on a pedestal, first of all to give it the special dispensation in order to operate in a professional environment.

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