DUNFERMLINE are out of the SPFL Trust Trophy as they cannot fulfil their fixture with Elgin City this weekend due to a lack of available players.

A statement on the Pars website, from club chairman Ross McArthur, posted in the last few minutes, states: "DAFC confirm that we are unfortunately not in a position to fulfil Saturday's tie in the SPFL Trust Trophy against Elgin City.

"We continue to have a fluid Covid situation at our club as well as international call ups and ongoing injuries which has caused a number of challenges.

"We are aware that a number of supporters might have already booked travel and accommodation for the weekend, in anticipation of the match and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause."

The SPFL Board has therefore awarded a 3-0 win to Elgin City in the second-round tie, meaning the Pars are out of the competition without a ball having been kicked.

Dunfermline Athletic informed the SPFL that, due to the number of players either self-isolating, injured, or on international duty, they do not have sufficient players available to fulfil the fixture.

An SPFL spokesman said: “Consistent with previous announcements in respect of similar issues in the first round of the SPFL Trust Trophy, the SPFL Board confirmed that any club unable or unwilling to field a team in an SPFL Trust Trophy first or second-round tie will forfeit the match on the basis of a 3-0 defeat.

“Accordingly, Elgin City have been awarded a 3-0 win and will play either Inverness Caledonian Thistle or Buckie Thistle in the third round of the competition next month.”

What did Peter Grant say on Tuesday ahead of the fixture?

The Press told you in today's paper (Thursday) that Pars boss Peter Grant was facing a selection headache with a number of players set to be absent for the fixture.

Rhys Breen, Leon Jones and Ross Graham all missed the Arbroath defeat on Saturday due to positive coronavirus tests requiring them to self-isolate, and would continue to miss out as the Pars were set to travel to Elgin on Saturday.

The match was also set to be without Lithuanian representation as Vytas Gaspuitis is on international duty with his country.

That was set to leave just Paul Watson as the only fit natural centre back in the squad.

Kai Kennedy was also set to be absent due to his involvement with Scotland’s under-21s.

Speaking to Press Sport on Tuesday, Grant said that he’d planned to manage the workload of the players who were “struggling physically” from the weekend so he had enough bodies for the clash at Borough Briggs.

He had also confirmed that the notable absentees from the Arbroath match – Breen, Graham and Jones – would be unavailable for the trip.

On Tuesday, he said: “I can’t remember what day it was last week they starting feeling the symptoms. That broke everything up for us last week because the group was testing. Thankfully, we hadn’t been in contact with them but you have to be very, very careful. So it became a completely different week last week.

“We know a lot of clubs are having issues with it, so it’s not just ourselves, but because the boys’ family members are out working now, it’s all coming from different areas.

“At first, we thought it was maybe ourselves, because the boys all seemed to get it at the same time but there was no connection. It was bizarre there was no connection with any of them.

“We were fortunate in that respect because that could have brought a lot more of us into it. It’s so important we’re managing that at this moment in time but because you’re testing every day there’s the possibility of more.

“You can be feeling fantastically well and do a test and all of a sudden maybe three or four boys you have been with can’t do anything because they were in the gym together. We have five or six different groups now. 

“Those boys won’t be available and we’re hoping the injuries pick up, and if they do then everything should be fine.

“Any manager will tell you now it’s not just the injuries you’re concerned about, you’re always waiting on a phone call after the testing. It used to be you’d have a phone call the night before training to say, ‘everybody’s available for training, there’s no injury problems’. Now, it’s completely different – ‘we’ve tested this morning, somebody’s not feeling well, somebody’s got a sore throat’. All of a sudden, that changes everything completely.”

He continued: “I’d love to have everybody available but unfortunately the way we are working at this moment in time, that’s not going to be the case.”