Aberdeen players who broke lockdown rules by going to a bar have apologised for their “huge error of judgement”.
Two tested positive for Covid-19 and six others are self-isolating by coming into “close proximity” last Saturday.
As a result, Saturday’s Scottish Premiership meeting with St Johnstone was postponed.
The players are Jonny Hayes, Bruce Anderson, Scott McKenna, Sam Cosgrove, Dylan McGeouch, Michael Devlin, Craig Bryson and Matthew Kennedy.
“As a player group, we once again apologise unreservedly,” they said in a statement.
“We, as a small group of players, made a huge error of judgement last weekend by thinking it was OK to visit a city centre venue together.
“None of us could have foreseen the escalation of Covid-19 cases in the Grampian area, nor did we deliberately attempt to flaunt or disobey Government guidelines which we all must adhere to, or indeed the clear guidelines set out by the club.
“This was by no means a team night out as has been portrayed and while we attempted to comply with Government social distancing guidelines, we now recognise that our group of eight exceeded the number of households permitted to meet up. This was a genuine error on our part as professional football players, and in doing so, we have let our manager down.”
First minister Nicola Sturgeon described herself as “pretty furious”, adding that the eight in question “blatantly broke the rules”.
“We are expecting members of the public to behave in a highly precautionary manner right now and, when a football club ends up with players infected with Covid – and let’s remember this is not through bad luck but through clear breaches of the rules – we cannot take even the small risk that they spread the infection to other parts of the country,” she added.
A meeting between club managers, team captains and National Clinical Director Jason Leitch will take place on Monday.