CELTIC face a race against the clock if they are to request three Premiership games to be called off due to their players’ international commitments.
If the Hoops lose three or more of their top stars to call-ups for their country they are within their rights to call for matches to be cancelled and rescheduled.
Ange Postecoglou faces the prospect of Tom Rogic being brought into the Australia World Cup squad for his nation’s World Cup qualifiers a week on Thursday, January 27, when they are at home to Vietnam and the following Tuesday when they travel to Oman.
HAMPDEN HERO…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates his two-goal triumph over Hibs in the Premier Sports League Cup Final.
However, the Hoops boss faces a wait until a week tomorrow, January 22, before he knows the situation regarding his Japanese recruits.
A fully-fit Kyogo Furuhashi will certainly get the nod for the ties against China and Saudi Arabia – both at home and on the same dates as the Aussie ties – but it is not clear if fellow-striker Daizen Maeda, who has played twice for his country, and Reo Hatate will get places in Hajime Moriyasu’s pool.
RARING TO GO…Daizen Maeda poses with his No.38 shirt at Celtic Park.
If even three of the four get the call, the Hoops can request a postponement from the SPFL. Postecoglou’s side are due to play Hearts at Tynecastle a week on Wednesday, January 26, host Dundee United on the Saturday and then face Giovanni van Brockhorst’s Ibrox side at Parkhead in the second Glasgow derby of the campaign on Wednesday, February 2.
Celtic are loathe to call for the cancellations which would trigger chaos in an already-congested February and March fixture list with 10 games scheduled to take place, including the European Conference League home and away ties against Bodo/Glimt.