Aberdeen’s clash against Kilmarnock and Celtic’s trip to Ross County will be played in front of 300 home fans after the Scottish Government approved the two top-flight matches as pilot events.
They will be the first Scottish Premier League fixtures to be played in front of supporters since the coronavirus pandemic halted the 2019-20 season back in March.
The matches will be the second and third sporting fixtures played in front of fans since lockdown hit Scotland. The PRO14 rugby fixture between Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield was held in August as another test event.
Scotland’s Sport Minister, Joe FitzPatrick, said: ‘The Scottish Government has agreed that the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) can hold two pilot events, each with 300 home supporters only, on 12 September.
‘A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes in recent months to create the protocols and testing regimes to allow top-level professional sport in Scotland to resume, and this arrangement follows extensive discussions with the Scottish FA, SPFL and clubs about public safety – particularly in relation to physical distancing and hygiene measures.
‘The football authorities and the clubs involved have also been able to review and learn from the pilot event staged by Scottish Rugby on 28 August and we are confident there will be strict protocols in place at these two initial pilot football events. We are keeping all pilot events under close review.’
The Scottish Government confirmed that Aberdeen and Ross County will make sure their respective fans attending the match will be local to the stadium so they do not have to travel too far to the match.
The two clubs will provide an evaluation report after the match to see how well the test event has fared.
However, planned tests at Rangers and St Mirren will not happen this weekend as the virus continues to spread in the west of Scotland.
SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster said: ‘I would like to thank the respective home clubs – and indeed all 12 Premiership clubs – for the comprehensive Return to Supporting plans.
‘We look forward to building on the successful supporter rugby pilot at BT Murrayfield and I know that clubs take the responsibility for the safe return of supporters seriously.
‘This is another significant step forward for Scottish football and I reiterate the importance of fans to our national game.
‘The JRG will continue to liaise with all clubs, especially the home clubs, in the coming week to ensure all protocols and guidance are adhered to and that fans can look forward to a phased return to supporting their respective teams.’
The Scottish Premier League was suspended on March 13, with the top-flight decided by a points-per-game ratio which led to Celtic being crowned champions for the ninth year in a row.