All football below the championship will remain suspended until at least February 14, the Scottish Football Association has confirmed.

Clubs in League One and Two and the West of Scotland Football League are among those affected and had already been placed into a three-week shutdown from January 11 but that will now be extended.

It comes after the SFA undertook extensive consultation with representatives of leagues and clubs affected by the temporary suspension.

The Scottish Cup Fourth Round fixtures scheduled for February 20 will not now go ahead, and all ties will be rescheduled and information communicated in due course.

A further update will be communicated by Wednesday, February 10.

Rod Petrie, Scottish FA President said: “The conversations we have had with representatives from the clubs and leagues affected by the temporary suspension have been hugely beneficial.

“We have been able to further communicate the rationale behind the decision in the midst of an ongoing pandemic whilst also hearing at first hand the most important issues facing clubs and leagues at each level of the game.

“We have also been greatly encouraged by the sense of togetherness shown by the clubs and the robustness with which protocols and measures have been implemented in the interests of player and staff safety within football. 

“A number of initiatives have been suggested which may help to make the eventual return to playing efficient without compromising safety.

“The decision to extend the suspension is necessary given the Scottish Government’s own extension of existing lockdown measures. Football will play its part to support the collective effort to reduce the spread of the new variants of the COVID-19 virus.

“We are grateful for the input of all groups involved in our online discussions this week and we will continue to liaise ahead of our next public update on February 10.”