Nicola Sturgeon has explained why phasing of crowds has been pushed back in Scotland until October 5 at the earliest.

Ross County v Celtic and Aberdeen v Kilmarnock are set to host trial events tomorrow afternoon with 300 supporters each in attendance. The plans were to upgrade that number to over 700 for all teams the following week.

Aberdeen v NSI Runavik - UEFA Europa League: First Qualifying Round

Pittodrie will hold fans this weekend but only for test events says Nicola Sturgeon. (Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

But that’s off the table for now though as cases surge in Scotland, 175 cases being diagnosed in the last 24 hours. It means supporters face an extended wait to return to the stadiums they hold dear.

Rangers v Dundee United and St Mirren v Hibs were floated as potential test events too but were knocked back due to local lockdowns in those areas. In her address to Parliament, Sturgeon explained the fan decision.

“I can confirm that it is the Scottish Government’s judgement that we cannot at this stage risk the further transmission of COVID that reopening further facilities and services would entail,” she said.

“The new indicative date for their resumption is Monday 5 October, however I must stress again that this remains an indicative date, a final decision can only be taken much nearer the time.

“Unfortunately spectators will not be able to return to sports stadia and other venues over the next three weeks. There are two pilot events due to take place this weekend, which will proceed.

“However after that we will judge possible pilot events on a case-by-case basis and in light of the latest Covid data.”

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