Rangers might get yet another boost in their bid to win the Scottish Premiership title after Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon called for an investigation into whether Celtic are complying with social distancing rules.
Neil Lennon’s squad, despite being 19 points shy of league-leaders Rangers, have gone on a mid-season training camp in Dubai despite Scotland being placed back into a national lockdown this week.
An image emerged on social media of Celtic players drinking beer by the side of a pool, with no effort to engage in social distancing measures.
All the attention is on lennon and brown but Why is naeone talking about Duffy braiding laxalts heed ? 👀 pic.twitter.com/CemiriGMbT
— David Carcary (@DCarcary) January 3, 2021
Speaking on Tuesday, Sturgeon was asked about Celtic’s trip to the UAE.
BBC journalist James Cook quoted her as warning clubs “don’t abuse” the leeway they have been given by the government with football allowed to continue despite the new lockdown.
She also said that a potential breach of social distancing protocol “should be looked into”.
With "elite sport" continuing, @NicolaSturgeon issues a warning to clubs, saying "don't abuse" the leeway you have been given. She says the purpose of a Celtic trip to Dubai and photos suggesting breaches of social distancing bubbles there "should be looked into."
— James Cook (@BBCJamesCook) January 5, 2021
It’s pretty clear that Celtic’s trip to Dubai wasn’t essential because they could have trained as their usual training ground.
But it’s also pretty clear that sitting beside a swimming pool and drinking beer together isn’t essential either.
The Scottish Football Association has set out rules to minimalise contact between players and staff despite regular testing taking place at clubs.
Last month, the SPFL found that Kilmarnock and St Mirren had breached coronavirus protocol. On the Sky Sports website, it says Killie and St Mirren’s breaches “included a failure of physical distancing on a coach and during a pre-match meal”.
Both teams were handed 3-0 losses by the SPFL for those breaches that led to matches being postponed.
Based on this photo, Celtic’s breach of protocol is worse.
They’re not doing it on a club coach or at their own training ground, they are jet-setting around the world and doing whatever they please.
There better be action taken against them but knowing the SFA, nothing will come of it.
In other Rangers news, fans are blown away by this “superb” behind-the-scenes agreement at Ibrox.