AMATEUR football clubs in Helensburgh and the surrounding area have reacted with anger and disappointment after the Scottish FA shut down all training below Premiership level.

The game's governing body made the announcement this week following high-profile breaches of the Covid-19 rules.

Celtic player Boli Bolingoli was widely criticised – not least by his own manager Neil Lennon – for failing to reveal he'd taken a short break in Malaga, and for playing in the Parkhead club's subsequent match away at Kilmarnock when he should have been in a 14-day quarantine.

And eight Aberdeen players apologised for a "huge error of judgement" in attending a bar in the city after their Premiership fixture against Rangers.

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Two of those players tested positive for Covid-19 in the days following the incident.

On Thursday the SFA said that the return to training for all clubs outwith the Premiership – including all organised adult football for people over the age of 18 – was to be "delayed until at least 24 August" as a result of the rule breaches.

Immediately after the announcement, Helensburgh FC tweeted that their training session that night had been cancelled, saying "SPFL players just don’t get it, wasting it for the guys who play/are involved in football for the love of it and not the money."

Rhu Amateurs tweeted: "Gutted for all the boys who have been down for the last wee while working their backsides off to get fit for the season just to be handed another guideline change."

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A statement posted on Rhu Amateurs' Facebook page added: "No idea what’s been happening or why but it can’t be good news for anybody.

"It would appear we can have people in the clubhouse for a pint but we can’t have anyone training outside.

"We’ll update everyone as soon as we know more."

Cardross Amateurs did not tweet their own direct reaction to the news, but they did retweet a comment from Labour MP Ian Murray, who said: "Another brilliant decision from the @spfl. Premiership clubs breach the strict Covid regulations. What’s the conclusion? Shut down all football apart from the premier league where the breaches occurred. Utterly bewildering."

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The local teams, in common with clubs across Scotland, had been able to resume training sessions in small groups from July 23.

Thursday's move came in the wake of strong criticism of the high-profile rule-breakers from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who said during her daily briefing on Tuesday: "Consider today the yellow card. The next time it will be the red card because you will leave us with absolutely no choice."

The SFA's decision does not affect training sessions for youth football clubs.

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