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Lanark United boss ponders Covid impact as virus sparks lower league football concern

Lanark United co-boss Simon Eeles says he struggles to see how lower league football beneath the SPFL continues without Covid testing.

United are in the midst of a break from West of Scotland Football League Conference C action but their two friendly matches with Cambuslang Rangers and Wishaw have had to be called off due to four positive Covid cases amongst the playing group.

Another is self-isolating as part of the close contact rule.

SPFL clubs now test daily as the Omicron variant of Covid sweeps across the nation, but that is a logistical nightmare for non-league clubs in Scotland.

Without it, Eeles says it will be difficult for the lower leagues to justify their continuation of matches. Lanark’s next match is against East Kilbride Thistle on January 8.

The Yowes co-boss said: “We couldn’t take the risk with the friendly games, especially so close to Christmas. We didn’t want to ruin Christmas for folk.

“Hopefully we get back into things next week. I don’t really know how as part-time clubs we can ask boys to play in January and then they miss work.

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“The rules are so strict right now. I don’t know how in good faith, that we ask them to play and then they potentially miss two weeks of their work through isolating.

“I’m struggling to get past that. A couple of boys said to me they weren’t sure about playing (the friendlies) as they wanted to make sure they spent Christmas with their families. I can’t argue with them.

“I don’t know where we go right now. There’s going to be so many cancellations in January, I don’t know if it’s worthwhile.”

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