CELTIC’S hopes of allowing something in the region of 1,000 fans to attend Parkhead for the Premiership game against Motherwell on Sunday have been scuppered.

The proposals by the Hoops hierarchy have been rejected by the Scottish Government, according to a report on Sky Sports News.

Neil Lennon confirmed last week the Hoops were “collaborating” with Holyrood chiefs on plans for the game to be used as a pilot for the return of larger numbers for future fixtures.

However, the government insisted it needed “sufficient time for any test events to be informed by learning from other events”.

Around 700 rugby fans will be allowed into Murrayfield on Friday when Edinburgh host Glasgow Warriors in Guinness PRO14 action, while Brighton’s pre-season friendly against Chelsea on Saturday is among several sporting events which will welcome a limited number of spectators over the coming weeks in England.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already set out an “indicative date” of September 14 for the reopening of Scotland’s stadiums.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes during these past months to create the protocols and testing regimes to allow top-level professional sport in Scotland to resume, without putting the public or others at unnecessary risk.

“We recognise there is disappointment that the proposal for a pilot on August 30 has not been approved, but we are looking for suitable alternative dates for football pilots.

“We need to allow sufficient time for any test events to be informed by learning from other events – in particular the rugby match at Murrayfield on August 28.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Ferencvaros this evening – only in your champion CQN.

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