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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

Good news for Irish contingent in Scotland as women's top-flight football allowed return

Several Irish internationals are on the books of Glasgow City and Celtic.

Clare Shine plays her club football at Glasgow City.
Clare Shine plays her club football at Glasgow City.
Image: PA

FIRST MINISTER OF Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, has indicated the imminent return of top-flight women’s football and lower league football.

All but the top two tiers of the men’s game were suspended by the Scottish Football Association board in January due to coronavirus concerns.

The impacted leagues were Scottish Professional Football League One, SPFL League Two, Scottish Women’s Football Premier Leagues One and Two, Highland League, Lowland League, East, West and South of Scotland Leagues, Scottish Junior FA Leagues and the North Caledonian League.

The return means good news for the Irish contingent in the women’s top-tier – Clare Shine, Niamh Farrelly and Tyler Toland (Glasgow City) and Keeva Keenan and Izzy Atkinson (Celtic).

Speaking at her Tuesday briefing, Sturgeon said: “The Public Health Minister will support the resumption of competitive football in Scottish Leagues 1 and 2, the Scottish Women’s Premier League 1 and – for the purposes of playing Scottish Cup ties – certain Highland League teams.”

Sturgeon added: “I hope this news will be welcomed by the many football fans across the country.”

The Scottish Premiership was exempt from the suspension, provided it continued to adhere to the stringent testing protocols, and the Championship was also able to continue provided it commences weekly PCR testing.

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It is not yet clear when fixtures will resume in the leagues and the Scottish Cup, which still has matches in the second round to be played.

Elsewhere today, the FA confirmed that between 22 February 2021 and 28 February 2021 inclusive, 924 tests were carried out for Covid-19 across the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship. None returned positive.

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