Peterhead captain Scott Brown says lower league players have been left feeling like they’ve done something wrong after the suspension of football.
With Covid-19 infections on the rise, the decision was taken by the SFA and Scottish Government to pause all football below the Championship until the end of this month.
Blue Toon midfielder Brown understands the justification for suspending football.
But the Balmoor skipper admits it does feel unfair that the Premiership and Championship can continue, when the lower leagues, in his view, have been just as stringent in following coronavirus protocol.
The 26-year-old said: “People might think that in the lower leagues things aren’t as strict – but that’s certainly not the case.
“People’s livelihoods depend on the lower leagues as well, it’s not just in the Premiership and the Championship, and the protocols are as strict as can be.
“Every club has done the best they can and elements of it are hard. We went to Airdrie and got changed in the stand, but these are the things you have to do to be able to play.
“So then to be told we’re not able to play makes it feels like we’ve been doing something wrong or not following the rules, but I can assure you that’s not the case at all.
“In the lower leagues I can only talk for Peterhead and the games we’ve been involved in, but every club we’ve been at seems to be doing it properly and we seem like the ones that have been punished.
“It doesn’t seem very fair. I understand fully why they would want to stop football because of the ways things are and this is a far from pleasant time in the world.
“Health comes first with the way things are in the country just now. But I do think it’s a bit unfair to only stop the lower leagues.”
Brown felt all of Scottish football should have been treated the same and is intrigued by the reasoning behind the decision.
He added: “I just feel that football should be treated as a whole and not that elitism where you can play in the Premiership or the Championship, but not further down.
“I can see the reasons for it, but I would love to know the data behind it, because, as far as I’m aware, in our league only Clyde have had to miss a game because of Covid and I don’t think there have been any in League Two.
“It doesn’t seem to me that full-time football is much better off.
“I saw the gaffer (Jim McInally) talking about bubbles and he was right, players still have to go home to their families and they could have been at work or have had kids at school.”
To continue playing, the Championship clubs will now conduct Covid-19 tests, as their Premiership counterparts have done all season.
Brown thought the option may have been offered to the lower leagues to continue with testing in place over the next three weeks, but now wonders if the suspension will be longer than three weeks.
“As far as I’m aware, the clubs weren’t even asked if they would want to carry on and would consider testing for a couple of weeks,” Brown said.
“If they had been given that option, clubs might have been able to do the testing for three weeks to carry on.
“But, if the clubs didn’t get that option, it would lead me to believe this may be more than three weeks.
“Whether we are going to start again is the next question and it’s probably too early to tell, but I don’t think there’s going to be a massive change in the numbers because lower league football has stopped.”