Following today’s meeting of the Joint Response Group, and further to conversations over the weekend with our Medical Consultant, Dr John MacLean, it has become apparent that clubs are still convening training sessions against the guidance of the Scottish FA.

We take this opportunity to remind members in the strongest possible terms that they desist from conducting training sessions under their auspices. Not only is this against the guidance issued throughout the game but it also goes against the government and UK Chief Medical Officers’ advice to delay the spread of coronavirus [COVID-19].

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive: “I would urge our members, and especially our Affiliated National Associations responsible for grassroots football, to ensure clubs observe social distancing guidance outlined by government.

“While many of the instances have been anecdotal, I have seen it for myself this weekend. Please stop it. I urge everyone involved in the game to do what we can to safeguard public health as best we can.

“The message from the First Minister, which was reiterated today, could not be clearer when she said ‘the advice that is being given to people is not to be seen as optional’. That applies to football as it does across society.

“We have been in touch today with Jason Leitch, Scotland’s National Clinical Director, and his message is equally clear: do not gather in groups. He also outlined the importance of exercise but that it is done alone, or in very small family groups, whilst observing social distancing guidelines, and advised people to look at the many online classes now offered.”

The Joint Response Group asks that stakeholders circulate this document as widely as they can. Please send this to as many as possible; clubs, parents, players, match officials, staff and supporters.

We consistently say that football is a force for good, let’s use that power to spread this message far and wide.