SFA/SPFL Joint Response Group Statement on Positive AFC COVID-19 Tests

The SFA/SPFL Joint Response Group have issued a statement this evening on the positive COVID-19 tests at Aberdeen Football Club.

Two players tested positive for coronavirus at Aberdeen FC today (Thursday 6 August 2020).

According to report, a number of first-team players were in and around the city centre at the weekend.

The statement said: ” The Joint Response Group has been informed that Aberdeen FC has returned two preliminary positive tests for COVID-19 among its playing squad.

One player has now been confirmed as a positive by a follow-up National Health Service test, while the second player is awaiting the result of a follow-up NHS test.

In light of the First Minister’s increased restrictions imposed on the city of Aberdeen since a significant outbreak of COVID-19 this week, and following further investigation by NHS Grampian’s Health Protection Team, the Scottish Government has instructed that both players will require to self-isolate, along with a further six players found to have been in close proximity to the initial positive player.

The initial positive player will require to self-isolate for 10 days from yesterday, with the remaining seven players to self-isolate for 14 days from yesterday.

This instruction for self-isolation has been unanimously endorsed by the Joint Response Group. In light of the action taken, and after consultation with Scottish Government, Aberdeen’s Scottish Premiership match against St Johnstone on Saturday will go ahead as scheduled.

Rod Petrie, Joint Response Group Chair: “As we have said from the outset, public health is the absolute priority of the Joint Response Group. As soon as we were informed of the positive tests, the information was immediately referred to the Scottish Government via our Chief Medical Consultant.

“Given the well-documented outbreak in Aberdeen it was imperative that we took the swiftest action to enable the local Health Protection Team to respond immediately.

“The Scottish Government’s instruction to the JRG was clear and unequivocal, as was our support of that instruction. Given the circumstances, we issue the strongest possible message to all clubs to ensure compliance with the twice-weekly testing procedure and Scottish football’s Return to Playing Protocol. It is imperative that everyone adheres to Scottish Government public health advice.”

This does mean we may be down up to nine players for the St Johnstone and Hamilton matches (if Andy Considine wasn’t part of the 8 players told to self isolate).

Aberdeen FC have issued the following statement:

Further to tonight’s JRG statement, Aberdeen FC confirms that two first team players, who have tested positive for COVID-19 but are asymptomatic, are self-isolating for ten days.

In line with government guidance and procedures from the football authorities, six other players, who were in close proximity with the two positive cases, are also self-isolating for 14 days.

The Club has been in open discussions with the football authorities since this came to light.

As a result, the Club will be missing eight players for the St Johnstone game, which the JRG has confirmed will now go ahead on Saturday.

AFC Chairman, Dave Cormack, said: “After Saturday’s game, with all eyes on Pittodrie, we were once again commended on the stringent processes and measures we had in place. Given the efforts of everyone at the Club and our investment in protecting our most valuable assets, this is a bitter blow.

“With two first team players testing positive for COVID-19, plus six others having to isolate for 14 days, it is also a harsh reminder of the severity and speed of spread of this virus.

“The Club will be carrying out a full investigation but, as an immediate first step, we have reinforced the Club’s COVID-19 protocols and the governing bodies’ guidance with every player and member of staff and will continue to regularly educate and remind everyone of what is, and what is not, acceptable in the current climate.

“We now have to focus on preparing for Saturday’s game under extremely difficult circumstances.”