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Coronavirus thwarts Orkney FC double-header

Orkney Football Club’s quest to play two games at the same time has been thwarted after a ban was placed on all football matches in Scotland due to coronavirus fears.

Orkney FC had formed two squads to play Bunillidh Thistle in Helmsdale and Bonar Bridge in Kirkwall on Saturday afternoon — a feat which had attracted significant media attention and saw BBC film crews follow the sides.

Today’s joint announcement from the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) has suspended all professional and grassroots football until further notice.

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.”