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Hamilton boss Brian Rice wants sanctions against coronavirus rule-breakers

Celtic v Hamilton Academical – Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Hamilton boss Brian Rice has called for sanctions to deal with Covid-19 protocol breaches.

There was uproar in Scottish football after it emerged that Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli played in Sunday’s 1-1 Premiership draw against Kilmarnock despite having recently returned from Spain without quarantining.

That furore came after Aberdeen’s match against St Johnstone was postponed at the request of the Scottish Government after two Dons players tested positive for Covid-19 and a further six were ordered to self-isolate.

Celtic and Aberdeen both had their next two games called off with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon saying football was being shown a “yellow card”.

Hamilton should have played the Dons on Wednesday night and ahead of the match against St Mirren, Rice admitted fearing there could be more Covid-19 incidents and looked for action.

He said: “I think there’s got to be sanctions, I think we’ve had a couple of cases now where we have had warnings.

“We know the rules, know the regulations that we need to work under. So, there has to be sanctions some place.

“We can only do so much as a club, every club can only do so much until the boys leave the stadium.

“And then it’s their responsibility, not just to themselves, but to Scottish football, and to every other player.

“So, I hope everybody has seen the consequences that could happen and everybody behaves themselves now.

“Football is only a small part of this, the health and well-being of everybody is of paramount importance. But like I say the clubs have done everything they can.

“Celtic and Aberdeen are the two clubs we’ve been talking about.

“They’ve done everything possible they can to tell the players the rules. It is individuals that have done this, not the clubs.

“You just go with a guidelines. It’s quite simple for me, keep your head down, work away and stay safe.”