POWERLEAGUE has stopped taking online bookings in Scotland after the Glasgow Times raised questions over a possible breach of lockdown.

The football chain, which has artificial pitches in over 300 sites across the UK, opened on Wednesday night at their former headquarters in Paisley to allow people to exercise during lockdown.

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In a Facebook post that has now been taken down, Powerleague Paisley wrote that they were taking bookings as a part of a ‘two week trial’ before evaluating the safety of the small sided games.

Glasgow Times:

However, concerns were made over the legality of this during stage 2 of lockdown in Scotland where contact sports are not yet permitted.

Currently only members from the same household and people who have formed a ‘social bubble’ can have physical contact.

So unless participants are playing human football, a competitive match with people from outside your own household would prove difficult.

Glasgow Times: Glasgow Times: Glasgow Times:

Powerleague CEO, Christian Rose, said:

“We know the benefits of playing sports and getting put to have a kickabout from a mental perspective.

“When people are playing on our pitches they must observe two metre social distancing unless they sign a disclaimer saying they are from the same household.

“If it’s a mixture of people from outside your social bubbles then distancing must be maintained.

However, when asked about the several games of 4v4 which were happening Wednesday night at the site in Paisley, Mr Rose added:

“We (Powerleague) are asking people to sign a disclaimer to say that they are from the same household if they want to play full contact football.

“We are also hearing from governments in England and Scotland say that it is about the responsibility of individuals to take when following the guidelines.”

“To show compliance we’ve stopped bookings temporarily, and if trading standards say we can reopen then we will. If not then we’ll comply and not carry on.”

‘If we are breaking the rules of the Scottish government then we’ll take action’

“Our pitches are being broken into on a regular basis and people are playing full contact with no protection on pitches which aren’t being sanitised. They are damaging the pitches and people are doing it, so we can provide a safer environment than the unregulated versions that go on.”

When asked about the current guidelines around physical activity, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We understand the importance of sport to many in Scotland, and a desire to see them resume but public health is paramount.

“Sports courts are currently permitted to open but only if physical distancing can be maintained and, as of the 13 July, they may be able to provide facilities for children and young people, with the appropriate guidance in place.

“Any return for adult contact sports will be dependent on expert clinical and scientific advice recommending that it is safe to do so.”

Renfrewshire Council declined to comment on the alleged lockdown breach.