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Irish ace Hayes says he's sorry

Aberdeen players apologise after positive covid tests

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Apology: Johnny Hayes

Apology: Johnny Hayes

PA

Apology: Johnny Hayes

EIGHT Aberdeen players - including Irish international Johnny Hayes - have apologised for the "error of judgement" which led to yesterday's Scottish Premier League clash with St Johnstone being postponed.

Ireland star Hayes, Michael Devlin, Scott McKenna, Matty Kennedy, Sam Cosgrove, Dylan McGeouch, Craig Bryson and Bruce Anderson were all ordered into quarantine after two returned positive coronavirus tests following a visit to a city centre bar last Saturday.

Aberdeen was later placed in a lockdown after an outbreak of Covid-19 cases linked to a number of bars emerged.

Hayes only recently returned to the club and manager Derek McInnes following a successful three-year stint with current champions Celtic.

Following the incident, a "furious" Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also ordered the Reds' trip to Perth to be postponed as she accused the Dons players of ignoring protocols agreed with the football authorities before the return to action was given the green light.

Now the players have released a statement apologising for their actions.

It read: "First and foremost we would like to apologise to every AFC fan, the manager, everyone at the club, the football authorities, the First Minister, all healthcare workers along with everyone else that has worked tirelessly around the clock to get the country, and in particular football, back up and running again.

"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 a genuine error on our part as professional football players, and in doing so, we have let our manager down."

Irish Independent