Kilmarnock's squad is self-isolating after six positive tests at the club
Kilmarnock’s squad is self-isolating after six positive Covid-19 tests at the club

Kilmarnock face possible sanctions – including forfeiting Friday’s postponed game against Motherwell – if they have breached Covid-19 protocol, says SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster.

The entire Rugby Park squad is self-isolating for 14 days after six positive tests in the past week.

Doncaster says the SPFL “owe it to the game” to investigate the outbreak.

He confirmed Kilmarnock will forfeit their two forthcoming League Cup ties if they cannot fulfil the fixtures.

“Clearly, it’s very concerning that you have six positives within one club,” Doncaster told BBC Scotland’s Sportsound.

“That’s something we need to investigate in conjunction with the health authorities, because the protocols in place are designed to ensure there shouldn’t be transmission within a club.

“Where we’ve had positives elsewhere this season, on the whole the games have gone on universally. The exceptions were the Aberdeen and Celtic games but that ultimately was a government decision.

“We have to create the situation where clubs have a real incentive to ensure their players are protected and games go on.”

Doncaster says it became “inevitable” that Kilmarnock’s home Scottish Premiership meeting with Motherwell on Friday would be called off.

Of the Ayrshire club’s 40 signed players, he says about 27 are in the first-team bubble and the remainder had not been tested, making them ineligible to play.

Forfeiting the game on the basis of a 3-0 defeat is “one potential outcome”, according to the SPFL chief.

He added: “As it stands, the SPFL board does not have that power. It does have the power to instruct an investigation to take place – [lawyer] Rod McKenzie will undertake that.

“If there are found to be concerns, that would go to a disciplinary in front of a sub-committee of the SPFL board, which has broadly unlimited powers to impose a sanction.

“We hope very much that all protocols have been followed. We’ll keep an open mind.”

Kilmarnock are due to face Falkirk away in their League Cup opener on Tuesday before hosting Dunfermline Athletic a week later.

Doncaster confirmed the SPFL has the jurisdiction to impose the “rough justice” of a forfeit in that competition.

He said they will do so if Kilmarnock cannot field a team because there is a “real time imperative to enable the competition to progress”.

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