The Scottish Football Association has welcomed the immediate return to training of lower league clubs.

League One, League Two and Scottish Women's Premier League clubs will be allowed to return to training with immediate effect in a huge boost.

Rangers Women's Demi Vance, Zoe Ness, Jenna Fife & Megan Bell will be aiming for success this term
Rangers Women will return to training immediately

All clubs have agreed to commit to testing their players once a week to facilitate the return to action.

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Lowland League and West of Scotland League clubs are due to learn their fate in meetings with the SFA tonight but the cost of PCR testing is prohibitive to those clubs.

It's understood that clubs are still in discussions regarding how to finish the season with time running out in the schedule.

Celtic celebrating winning last season's Scottish Cup

Revised dates for Scottish Cup and league fixtures, in both the SPFL and SWPL, will be released in due course.

Rod Petrie, Scottish FA President, said: “We are pleased that the First Minister has again recognised the importance of football in Scotland.

"The decision to temporarily suspend parts of the professional game played by predominantly part-time teams was not an easy one to take.

"None the less, given the sharp rise in infection rates caused by new strains of the virus at the start of the year, it was the right thing to do to assist the national effort to reduce its prevalence during lockdown.

SFA President Rod Petrie

“The preparatory work undertaken with representatives of affected leagues and their commitment to the inclusion of weekly PCR testing, has given ministers the confidence to permit the return of SWPL 1 and SPFL League One and Two.

“While we are pleased to see the return of these leagues, there remain significant numbers unable to return to play, including the remaining levels of the professional pyramid, elite youth football, club youth football and our amateur and grassroots clubs across both the male and female game.

“We are acutely aware of the desire within those levels of football to return to playing football and we will continue to work with the Scottish Government to ensure they are able to as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Mairi Gougeon,Minister for Public Health and Sport

Mairi Gougeon, Minister for Public Health and Sport: “We are aware of the importance of football, at all levels, to many people in Scotland and I’m happy that we have been able to work closely with the Scottish FA to allow the resumption of some further football activity – starting with SPFL Leagues 1 and 2, SWPL1 and clubs still in this season’s Scottish Cup.

“This could only happen alongside enhanced measures to keep everyone safe, including mandatory weekly COVID PCR tests for all players and staff.

“We continue to discuss with the Scottish FA and other stakeholders to ensure football at all levels can resume as soon as it is safe to do so.”

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