The SFA/SPFL Joint Response Group will reveal enforcement measures for breaches of Covid-19 rules tomorrow.
The authorities promised the Scottish Government they would act following high-profile, embarrassing incidents which threatened the Premiership season, including eight Aberdeen players visiting a bar and Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli making a secret trip to Spain.
A JRG update said: “The JRG has worked to ensure that existing rules will be strengthened to include the provision of sanctions for players who do not adhere to Covid-specific football protocols or government public health guidelines.
“This will encompass recent breaches and further details will be provided tomorrow.”
The suggestion the sanctions could include breaches which have already taken place will be a worry for Aberdeen and Celtic, who have already had four Premiership matches postponed between them due to players’ actions.
The update also revealed national clinical director Professor Jason Leitch has recorded a new video message telling players what they can and can’t do, and advertising boards in stadia will also be used to promote public health messages.
Meanwhile, the resumption of training below the Premiership level has been delayed until at least August 24 so the JRG can ensure clubs’ understanding and implementation of coronavirus measures.
The JRG statement added: “In order to provide government health officials with the necessary confidence that Scottish football can return safely and in accordance with relevant government guidelines and football protocols, the Scottish FA has agreed that the return to training for clubs outwith the SPFL Premiership – which includes all organised adult football over-18 – will be delayed until at least 24 August, pending updated government guidance on the 20th. This is to ensure that:
“• All club facilities comply with the current JRG Protocols, social distancing and hygiene measures.
“• All club policies and procedures comply with the current protocols and government guidance.
“• Club testing regimes in the professional game comply with the protocols.
“• Players and staff at all levels of the game have been reminded of the latest government guidance.”
Rod Petrie, Joint Response Group chair, said: “The message from First Minister could not have been clearer. The JRG must now ensure that the planned resumption of football beyond the Scottish Premiership is done in a controlled manner with the strictest adherence to protocols and guidelines.
“The pause on the return to training for the professional game outwith the Scottish Premiership will not impact on the proposed start dates of the respective league competitions but will give sufficient time to reinforce protocols, educate players and make sure of the ability of clubs in the lower divisions to conform.”
Neil Doncaster, SPFL chief executive, said: “Today’s measures underline the fact that Scottish football is doing everything it possibly can to protect our game. The recent, high-profile breaches must be used as further motivation for all those with our game’s best interests at heart to comply absolutely with these necessary restrictions and safeguards.”