Clubs below the Championship have been hit with a major blow in their bid to return to action.

SPFL League One, League Two, the Scottish Cup, West of Scotland Leagues, Lowland League and Scottish Women’s Premier League have all been paused since January as the country continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.

10/08/16 - IRN BRU CUP - ROUND 1 . Rangers Colts v University of Stirling (4-0) . FORTHBANK - STIRLING . General view of Forthbank Stadium, home of Stirling Albion Football Club.

Clubs across the lower leagues have been out of action. (Photo by Ross Parker – SNS GroupSNS Group via Getty Images)

Teams had hoped that a return to action could occur next month, League One and League Two clubs ready to test like the Premiership in order to get back into action. But after lengthy discussions with the Scottish Government, The SFA have announced that said clubs will not be permitted to return to action, a further update due March 1st.

It’s a huge blow for League One and Two teams after committing to the cost of testing for the rest of the season. It also puts the Scottish Cup in doubt over whether or not this can be completed.

An SFA statement reads: “In recent weeks, the Scottish FA has engaged extensively with clubs and leagues affected by the suspension of professional football across the men’s and women’s game to discuss tailored return to playing plans for implementation when it is considered safe and appropriate to resume.

A hammer blow. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

“We have also remained in regular dialogue with Scottish Government to ensure their input into and ultimately approval of those proposed plans. Regrettably, the government has today confirmed that – in cognisance of the current restrictions in place across the country – they cannot currently commit to return dates for those affected leagues in the coming weeks.
“We will continue to speak with all parties in the meantime and will provide a further update by 1 March. This date should not be seen as a proposed restart date, however it should help provide some clarity to affected clubs to aid their planning over the short term.
“Whilst this is disappointing news, Scottish football will continue to play its part in assisting the Scottish Government’s efforts to reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 across the country.”
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