Scotland's lower leagues suspended for three weeks due to COVID-19

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(Reuters) - All Scottish football below the second tier Championship has been suspended for three weeks until Jan. 31 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, the Scottish football association said on Monday.

Although the Scottish government has allowed professional sport to continue, the Scottish FA said it had taken the decision to suspend matches after consulting with the Minister for Public Health Sport and Wellbeing.

"Both parties have agreed to impose a temporary suspension of all football beneath the Scottish Professional Football League Championship, encompassing all predominantly part-time tiers of the Scottish professional pyramid, from midnight tonight," it said in a statement.

"The impacted leagues are: SPFL League One, SPFL League Two, Scottish Women's Football Premier Leagues 1 & 2, Highland League, Lowland League, East, West & South of Scotland Leagues, Scottish Junior FA Leagues and the North Caledonian League."

The FA added that the top tier Premiership and Championship will be allowed to continue as long as stringent testing protocols are followed and the second tier begins testing on a weekly basis.

The Scottish Cup has also been suspended with fixtures before Feb. 1 set to be rescheduled.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)