Furious Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is calling for mandatory Covid-19 testing by the SFA for all players returning from international duty.
McInnes insists it is incumbent on the SFA to protect the game during the pandemic, but he believes they are falling short.
McInnes was left frustrated after midfielder Ross McCrorie tested positive for Covid, having contracted the virus on international duty with the Scotland U21s.
Lewis Ferguson and Connor McLennan were subsequently identified as close contacts due to seating manifests and must self-isolate for 14 days.
McCrorie was already ruled out of the game against his parent club Rangers, to whom the Reds lost 4-0.
But what had already been a squad decimated by injury then had to suffer the loss of Ferguson and McLennan.
McInnes said: “I do think mandatory testing when players go away with their national teams should be there for the next three days.
“We know other clubs will use a negative test from the national team’s U21s and straight into first teams, that is not right.
“There should be testing and clubs should be compensated for that.
“We always test our players before they are allowed back into the bubble again, especially when they have been travelling in Europe.
“I don’t think that it is always the case as it is not necessary if they don’t have to.
“I think it should be incumbent on the SFA to protect our game.
“Like it is for random drug testing, they should have a compliance company to go around and randomly drop in on clubs to make sure they are doing it all right.
“There are too many issues and I think if they really tighten things up that shouldn’t be the case.”
McCrorie, Ferguson and McLennan will miss Wednesday’s Premiership trip to Hamilton and Saturday’s League Cup tie at St Mirren.
It was only discovered McCrorie had caught the virus when he was tested by Aberdeen on his return from games against Croatia and Greece with the U21s.
That is standard practice for Aberdeen who have created a bio-secure bubble, at considerable expense, that has not seen a positive test result since August.
McLennan and Ferguson were subsequently ruled out as close contacts because of where they were told to sit on the coach and plane by the SFA.
McInnes said: “We got wind on Friday that Lewis and Connor could get dragged into this.
“They were adamant they hadn’t been exposed to anyone that had tested positive.
“We felt that information would have given them the all-clear.
“They were told where to sit on the flights and in the coaches and at the hotels.
“A positive test can happen to any of us but after that it is not unfortunate after that.
“Two players have been unable to play because of being in association with a positive test.
“That is what we have been trying to avoid.
“We travel on two buses, we split our players into defenders, midfielders and strikers at the training ground.
“They had Aberdeen players sitting in close proximity which isn’t right either.
“They sat where they were told to sit and that is the disappointing aspect for me.
“We informed them of Ross McCrorie, but after that we saw on Sky there was a positive staff member and I think they should have been tested again before they went to Greece.
“Whether it happened or not, I don’t think it did.”