Scottish FA apologises to Hibernian & Hamilton Academical after assistant referee Covid breach

The Scottish FA has apologised to Hibernian and Hamilton Academical after it emerged that one of the assistant referees for their game on Saturday should have been self-isolating.

Graeme Stewart, along with David Roome and Bobby Madden, oversaw Panathinaikos v Olympiakos in Greece last weekend.

Roome has since tested positive for Covid-19 and, although Stewart and Madden have returned two negative tests since returning, it was belatedly discovered that they should have been considered close contacts.

Madden was subsequently withdrawn from Ross County's game with Celtic on Sunday, but Stewart had already officiated at Easter Road.

Both clubs were made aware of the issue on Sunday but, while all three officials are now self-isolating, no players or staff of either Hibs or Hamilton have been identified as close contacts.

The Scottish FA says chief executive Ian Maxwell has begun an investigation to "seek clarity on the breakdown in internal process".

"While the circumstances are complex, the reality is that under Scottish Government guidelines all match officials involved in the trip should be considered close contacts," Maxwell said.

"I have apologised to Hibernian and Hamilton Academical for the unnecessary risk of having an assistant referee at a match when he should have been self-isolating, however much it is mitigated by two negative tests in the build-up to the match."

Madden, Stewart and Roome were taking charge of the Greek Super League game at the request of Uefa and were tested before leaving Scotland.

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