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Sport / Inter-county football match set to go ahead next weekend

The approval, however, elicits a mixed response on social media

The Shetland football team pictured last year. Photo: BBC Radio Shetland

THE SENIOR inter-county football match between Shetland and Orkney is set to take place next weekend.

Some people on social media, however, have claimed the event should not be taking place due to the resurgence of coronavirus in the country.

The Orkney Amateur Football Association, in partnership with the Shetland Football Association, announced this week that the match now has permission to take place on 17 October in Orkney.

It will go ahead without spectators, and organisers are looking into live-streaming the match.

“We all fully understand the world and both our island communities are still going through very difficult times due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and this is an ever changing situation,” the organisers said.

“However, we have been extremely patient and have strictly followed the Covid-19 guidelines and regulations from the Scottish Government, NHS Scotland and the Scottish Amateur Football Association for the return to football, adhering at all times to the Phase 3 Guidance for Adult Football.

“Both associations believe this an important step in the return to football in the islands for the wellbeing, health and fitness of all their football players.

“We will continue to monitor the situation, as well as the regulations and guidelines, to ensure this match is played with the minimum amount of risk to the players, coaches and wider community of both islands.”

However, there has been a somewhat mixed response on social media – with some believing that the time is not right for the match to go ahead.

Scotland appears to be entering a second wave of Covid-19, although both Orkney and Shetland have relatively low infection rates.

Chief executive of both the Shetland and Orkney health boards Michael Dickson said organisers need to keep in mind that the Northern Isles are still at risk of spikes in Covid-19.

“As long as people are adhering to the national guidance and appreciate that Orkney and Shetland are not immune to the virus, then it is a matter for those organising the match,” he said.