Prof Jason Leitch: Clinical director says 'early conversations' had about test events with fans

By Chris McLaughlinBBC Scotland sports news correspondent
The Scottish government is considering proposals from Scottish Rugby to have 1000 fans at the Pro14 opener
The Scottish government is considering proposals from Scottish Rugby to have 1000 fans at the Pro14 opener

The Scottish government has had "early conversations" about test events with fans in stadia, says national clinical director Jason Leitch.

But he added there is "pretty much no chance" of having supporters back for the start of the football season.

Scottish Rugby has held talks with the government about Murrayfield being used as a test venue, and reports sayexternal-link Celtic have also done so.

"We've had early conversations with a couple of stadia," Prof Leitch said.

"Running through the processes, about how you would separate fans, where you would put the alcohol gel, how you would manage the club bubble and people. So it's not a full-scale crowds are back - even physically distanced."

The Scottish Premiership is scheduled to start on 1 August, with rugby's Pro14 to follow three weeks later.

Scottish Rugby wants aroundexternal-link 1000 fans to be allowed into Murrayfield as a test for the opening weekend when Glasgow Warriors play Edinburgh, and the government is considering their proposal.

In football, Premiership clubs have agreed a streaming deal to allow them to show games to season tickets holders until supporters are allowed to return.

But some clubs were hopeful of having some spectators in when the campaign begins.

"I think we're saying pretty much no chance of crowds in August," Prof Leitch added.

"I am as keen as everybody to get back to those crowds, but we need to do it behind closed doors first for sure.

"I can't imagine physically-distanced crowds in August or September. I might be wrong and with a fair wind we might get there. I think we might run some test events during that two month period. It might be a big match but a small test event crowd.

"Then thinking about into the autumn and winter I would hope if things remain good then we might be able to get back to physically-distanced crowds."

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