CELTIC’S games against St Mirren in Paisley tomorrow night and Aberdeen at Parkhead on Saturday are in danger of being called OFF!
The Premiership matches face being cancelled by the Scottish Government following revelations Hoops player Boli Bolingoli had broken strict quarantine guidelines following a secret trip to Spain, as CQN reported earlier today.
The Belgian left-back featured in the 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Sunday after ignoring the rules to self-isolate after returning to Scotland where he trained with his team-mates as they prepared for the match in Ayrshire.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who was already visibly upset over the misbehaviour of eight Aberdeen players a week ago on Saturday when they had a night-out in a city centre pub, took swift action to threaten to cancel games.
Bolingoli’s actions provoked the Holyrood chief to announce it was a “flagrant breach” of the guidelines.
Ms Surgeon told her daily briefing that fans “should not be expecting to see Aberdeen or Celtic play in the coming week.”
The clubs were scheduled to meet each other at Parkhead at the weekend, but that, too, could be wiped out.
Ms Sturgeon is furious with both sets of footballers after two breaches so early in the season.
The First Minister, in a report in the Scottish Sun, said: “What I regret is that some football players seem incapable of living up to their responsibilities. I very much regret that.
“I think my frustration about the Aberdeen Football Club situation was pretty palpable.
“One of the things we decided to do as a result of that situation on Friday was dispatch Jason (Leitch) to talk to all of the managers and captains to reinforce the importance of the guidance which is in place.
“While that meeting was in place yesterday, the news came through of the Celtic player who had decided to go to Spain, come home and not quarantine and play a part in a match.
“This is simply not acceptable. Every day I stand here and ask members of the public to make huge sacrifices in how they live their lives and the vast majority of members of the public are doing that and it’s not easy.
“We can’t have privileged football players decided they are not doing that and just to decide not to bother.
“This can’t go on. What are we going to do about it? I want to get to a situation here where clubs and players live up to their responsibilities because I don’t want the price of this to be paid by fans who want to watch football even although they can’t go as normal.
“I don’t want the price of this to be paid by football players and clubs who are living up to their responsibilities. There have been talks ongoing over the course of the morning. Jason has been part of those talks with the football authorities where we’ve given them the opportunity to tell us how they are going to get their house and order and make sure these breaches don’t happen, or when they do, that there are very clear penalties in place for players and clubs.
“We’ll hopefully say more about those talks later this afternoon. I don’t want the season to be in jeopardy for the reasons I’ve just set out. I don’t want people who are not responsible for this to pay the price. But we have to be very clear that this situation is not acceptable.” As a minimum, you should not be expecting Aberdeen or Celtic to play over the course of the coming week and we’ll set out conclusions beyond that.
“Let me end by putting this as clearly as I can in language that the football world will understand. Consider today the yellow card. The next time it will be the red card because you will leave us with absolutely no choice.”