Hibernian's Scottish Premiership matches at Ross County and Livingston postponed due to coronavirus outbreak

Hibernian reported two positive cases hours before Saturday's match against Ross County; Hibs were unable to field team due to number of close contacts; further outbreak has left only eight players available meaning Wednesday's rearranged game and Saturday's match at Livingston are off

Hibernian have confirmed more positive covid-19 tests meaning their next two Scottish Premiership matches are off
Image: Hibernian have confirmed more positive covid-19 tests meaning their next two Scottish Premiership matches are off

Hibernian's Scottish Premiership matches against Ross County and Livingston have been postponed following a Covid-19 outbreak.

The Easter Road club had confirmed two positive cases hours before Saturday's game against Ross County and due to a number of players being deemed close contacts Hibs were unable to field a team.

That fixture was rescheduled for Wednesday but has again been called off after more positive tests at the Edinburgh club.

The latest outbreak means Hibernian's match at Livingston is also off, with Hibs CEO Ben Kensell confirming only eight players were available.

"I won't go into personal details but we have eight players who have given positive tests, plus a further seven in our development squad and three members of staff," Kensell said on Wednesday. "A further four players have been in close contact and we have a large injury list, so that only gives us eight players available."

"We believe we've contained it now. We've been thorough in our investigation and we've worked with NHS Lothian to make sure we did everything we could as a club, in terms of travel and testing. We went above and beyond but I don't think we should be proud of that, that's just what we should have been doing.

SPFL rules state teams must have 13 fit players including a goalkeeper for a match to take place and further to that, 10 of the players must be over 18-years old.

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With the upcoming international break, it is likely Hibernian's next game will be at Hampden Park in the League Cup semi-final against Rangers on November 21.

Kensell added: "The fixture rescheduling was hasty, at best, as we were still managing the situation. It's their job to get games played, I was massively concerned about the spread and we were still working out how many people were affected. We've reached the correct outcome now.

"The fans travelled up and paid good money to do so. These things are unavoidable but then to be given a rearranged fixture on the Wednesday, that could have been handled differently."

Hibernian boss Jack Ross (SNS)
Image: Jack Ross' Hibs will next be in action at Hampden Park for the League Cup semi-final on November 21

"This decision was made after a significant number of first-team players, staff, and development squad players tested positive over the last few days," a Hibs statement read on Tuesday.

"By following all the guidelines, we wouldn't be able to field a team for either game, which has led us to no other alternative than to postpone the fixtures.

"The individuals will not be named due to medical confidentiality and those affected will now self-isolate in-line with the protocol.

"We are in constant discussions with NHS Lothian to reduce the spread of Covid and HTC has subsequently been closed for a deep clean. We have also undergone an internal investigation regarding the outbreak and are confident in our processes.

"We will continue to take every precaution necessary as the safety of our players and staff is of absolute importance.

"We would also like to apologise to our supporters who have made plans to attend the re-arranged fixture at Ross County. We made our thoughts incredibly clear to the SPFL before the fixture was re-arranged, and it took them until today, after more positive tests were recorded and several meetings, to make the right decision, which we thank them for."

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