The SFA’s failure to test and protect the footballers that they are trusted with spilled over into the weekend SPFL fixtures.
A member of staff covering the u-21 squad tested positive before the Greek trip with the players flying out untested as Derek McInnes confirmed in The Sun:
The communication was fine. We informed them of Ross McCrorie’s test but there was a positive staff member and I think they should have been tested again before they went to Greece.
Your #SCO21s team taking on Greece in Athens this afternoon.
Kick-off is 4pm – you can watch live on @PremierSportsTV.#YoungTeam pic.twitter.com/i9gKYal9Y4
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) November 17, 2020
After returning from Greece the story started to evolve on Friday night into Saturday. Which was too late for Ibrox starlet Lewis Mayo who played on loan for Dunfermline against Hearts on Friday night.
The McCrorie brothers both tested positive, one on loan at Livingston and the other at Aberdeen. Ross McCrorie also tested positive last season on loan at Portsmouth. David Turnbull also returned a positive test at Celtic on Friday. Club testing picked up three positive tests of players under the care of the SFA for the Greece trip.
After that development from the clubs the SFA switched onto close contact mode. It seems that no lessons have been learned from the Ryan Christie/Stuart Armstrong issue last month.
Eight players and two coaches were identified as close contacts of the McCrorie brothers and Turnbull, on Saturday morning, after Mayo had played for Dunfermline the SFA announced:
The close contacts were established using aircraft and bus manifests, in adherence to government protocols that consider close contacts to be two rows either side of a positive case. We have informed all clubs affected by the positive cases or close contacts in advance of matches taking place this weekend.
Fortunately for Hibs who were playing Celtic, Ryan Porteous wasn’t in close contact, unfortunately for Aberdeen Lewis Ferguson and Connor McLennan were judged to be close contacts and banned from playing at Ibrox yesterday.
Motherwell also had two players ruled to be close contacts and forced to self isolate for 14 days. In August Rod Petrie and Ian Maxwell refused to travel to Prague with the Scotland national team. In October Billy Stark got a positive test result back at half-time in a Scotland u-19 match against England, at the same time Armstrong tested positive.
If the SFA look after Porteous in a different way to Ferguson and Porteous it really is time for Aberdeen and other concerned clubs to take Maxwell to task over the SFA’s failure to take care of their employees.