FORMER Celtic keeper Rab Douglas admits he will be “staggered” if the Glasgow derby a week on Sunday gets the green light.
The fixture has come under threat from the Scottish Government following the inexplicable antics of the Ibrox fans during their rampage through Glsgow city centre after the Govan club won their first title in a decade after nine years of Hoops domination.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon refused to rule out the cancellation of the third meeting between the clubs this season after thousands of the Ibrox outfit’s supporters broke Covid lockdown guidelines outside the club’s stadium and in George Square where they left a scene of carnage behind them.
One-time Scotland international No.1 Douglas, who famously knocked back the Govan club to join Martin O’Neill’s Parkhead revolution when he joined from Dundee in 2000, insisted it would be understandable if the authorities do not want to take the risk of a repeat of the crazy situation.
The 48-year-old Arbroath goalie coach said: “With everything that has yet to be decided hanging in the balance – and with everything outside of football that needs to be protected – I think the Government will take a ‘safety first’ approach to the match.
“Given how desperate everybody in the country is to get out of lockdown and get back to enjoying ourselves safely, I’d understand.
“In fact, I’d be staggered if it’s not cancelled.”
Reflecting on the extraordinary and unacceptable happenings at the weekend, Douglas, writing in his column in the Dundee Courier, added: “The scenes that followed, with Gers fans gathering in Glasgow to celebrate, were extremely disappointing.
“And that’s why I’d be very surprised if the Celtic v Rangers game scheduled for midday on March 21 goes ahead.
“For me, the risk involved in letting the game take place, whether it’s fans gathering at Celtic Park or somewhere else in Glasgow, looks too great.
“The league is won. So why take that risk? We’ve been battling away for a year as a country to keep Covid-19 under control.
“We’re now getting to a stage, with vaccinations starting to reach more of the population, where it feels like there’s maybe a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the Scottish Government look at the situation last weekend and decide they won’t allow another potential flashpoint match to take place – particularly now the result doesn’t count for anything other than pride.”