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CELTIC RESPOND TO RECALL PLEAS

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CELTIC admit they are powerless to recall any of their top stars from international duty.

The club responded to appeals from anxious individuals following the news Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie will almost certainly miss the vital Premiership clash with Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side at Parkhead a week on Saturday.

The French striker tested positive for coronavirus while on duty with his country’s Under-21 squad and is now in quarantine in Paris. There is still uncertainty when he will be allowed to travel back to Glasgow.

Midfielder Christie has been ordered to self-isolate for 14 days after being in contact with ex-Hoops team-mate Stuart Armstrong, who has been found to be infected by the virus. Kieran Tierney, too, has been told to go into quarantine for the same period.

All three were with their nation as Steve Clarke prepared for the crucial Euro 2021 semi-final against Israel at Hampden this evening.

The club’s hierarchy declared their intention to seek talks with the Scottish Government over the process under which players are forced into isolation.

However, a statement emphasised recalling players from their international set-ups is governed by world football’s governing body.

It said: “The club will always do everything possible to protect the health and wellbeing of our players, but the release of players for international matches is governed by the FIFA regulations.”

Callum McGregor and Greg Taylor are still with the Scotland squad and they could face Parkhead team-mates Hatem Abd Elhamed and Nir Bitton, if he overcomes his ankle injury sustained in Bosnia a week ago.

Goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas is with Greece, while Shane Duffy is involved with the Republic of Ireland and Kristoffer Ajer and Mohamed Elyounoussi are with Norway.

Patryk Klimala (Poland), Conor Hazard (Northern Ireland) and Karamoko Dembele (England) are representing their nations at Under-21 and youth level.

 
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