Virus puts Pupils’ season under threat

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Full-time may have already been called on Campbeltown Pupils’ 2019/20 season after the Scottish football calendar was stopped to help thwart coronavirus.

The Pupils were due to travel to East Renfrewshire to play Busby on league duty last Saturday, but the fixture was postponed last Friday after the Scottish Football Association (SFA), the sport’s governing body in Scotland, announced an indefinite stoppage of football at all levels in an attempt to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The hiatus, which at the time of going to print has no confirmed end date, includes the whole of Scottish football, from the professional leagues to amateur and youth levels, as well as the country’s five futsal leagues.

Ian Maxwell, SFA chief executive, said: ‘This announcement was made in the interests of public health, but equally, the health and safety of players, match officials, and staff across the game.

‘It is also why the SFA is compelled to ensure that the suspension is cascaded through the non-professional and grassroots games until further notice.’

It follows a move by the Scottish Government to ban events drawing more than 500 people, and from UK health advice that ‘unnecessary social gatherings’ should be avoided.

And while the Pupils often enjoy crowds of around 200 spectators for home matches at their Kintyre Park ground, past matches, such as the Pupils v Carradale Scottish Cup tie in 2013, have attracted around 600 fans.

A Pupils spokesperson said: ‘This is a difficult situation for the country, for businesses, and for sports clubs like our own, but it is first and foremost about protecting public health.’