RYAN CHRISTIE’S hopes of facing Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side in nine days’ time appear to have been vetoed by the Scottish Government.
Celtic bosses sought clarity on the coronavirus guidelines from Holyrood hierarchy – as CQN reported earlier today – and they have been sent a clear “no exceptions” message after the midfielder had been ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.
Christie and Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney were judged to have been in close contact with Stuart Armstrong, who has tested positive for virus.
All three will miss Scotland ‘s Euro 2021 semi-final against Israel at Hampden this evening and will be quarantined.
Neither Christie nor Tierney tested positive, but have been adjudged to have been in close contact with their former Celtic team-mate who is now at Southampton.
The Highlander is poised to undergo four swabs before the Glasgow derby a week on Saturday.
However, National Clinical Director Jason Leitch has made it evident there will be no exceptions to the government’s hard-line ruling.
He told Clyde One: “The health protection team in Lothian treats footballers the way it treats workers in call centres or you in your media job, or me.
“We phone up the positive case, we ask the positive case their history, where they’ve been for two days prior to their symptoms beginning.
“That’s sometimes very straightforward, sometimes – particularly in football – it’s slightly more complex and then they make a judgement about who they have been in close contact with.
“So they understand the nature of hotel rooms versus houses, cafes or diners.
“The health protection team in Lothian have decided who the contacts are and those contacts have been asked to self-isolate.
“I cannot intervene or second guess what that process is, that’s exactly how the process should work and footballers are not treated any differently in that bit of the process than any other member of our society.”
The Scottish Government have already called off two of the champions’ Premiership games this season – against St Mirren and Aberdeen – after Boli Bolingoli returned from a secret two-day trip to high-risk Spain and ignored the 14-day quarantine rules.
The Belgian defender trained with his team-mates at Lennoxtown and even made a cameo appearance in the 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on August 9 before his inexplicable actions were discovered.
With his Celtic career in jeopardy, Bolingoli is now in Turkey on a season-long loan.