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Scottish Premiership winter break brought forward

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The SPFL have confirmed that the winter break will be brought forward and start after the boxing day fixtures.

It comes after capacities were capped at 500 from Sunday amid a Covid surge.

The SPFL board made the final decision after clubs were given a deadline on Wednesday and three options to choose from - pause as planned on 4 January, begin the break on Monday or before Sunday's games.

The lower tiers do not have a scheduled winter break and have opted to play on.

The early top-flight shutdown means the postponement of two full fixture cards, including new year derbies in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

The Premiership resumes on 17-18 January, while the other round of rearranged matches takes place on 1-2 February and culminates with Celtic v Rangers.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster confirmed there were "mixed views" among top-flight clubs over an earlier shutdown which will "increase the risk of further disruption to an already highly congested fixture calendar."

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