CELTIC are due to welcome their Glasgow rivals to town on October 17. The derby will be the first since December 29, 2019 and it would be the first meeting between the two in the COVID-19 era.
However, veteran pundit, Hugh Keevins believes the derby is at risk of being axed before the build-up really begins.
The climb in corona cases in Scotland and the new restrictions in place, with more promised, could be the catalyst for the game being called off.
Keevins though, isn’t giving any supporters the benefit of the doubt and says the TWO sets of fans will be to blame if the game goes ahead because of what some MIGHT do.
Hugh thinks there will be supporters of each side lingering around Celtic Park before and after the game. Jam-packed pubs and living rooms up and down the country, watching the game unfold inside an empty Celtic Park. The superscoreboard pundit writes in a RecordSport column:
“Household parties? Police Scotland were required to deal with 405 breaches of Covid-19 regulations last weekend.
“That’s 405 reasons to be concerned about Glasgow derby day bringing forward an outbreak of spontaneous combustion.
“How do we prevent any, or all, of the following?
● Supporters of both clubs milling around the vicinity of Celtic Park for a piece of the action.
● A significant number of living rooms being packed with relatives and friends there to support one team or the other.
● Every pub, club and meeting place in the West of Scotland and beyond being thronged by rival fans screaming at television sets showing live coverage of the big match.
“I don’t think so.
“The four games between Celtic and Rangers carry the 12 points that will determine whether 10-in-a-row is won or stopped.
“Whether four derbies actually take place or not is down to the supporters who constitute the greatest danger to public health on the days these matches are scheduled to be played.
“That is unless they’re careful and respectful of the need to stay safe and save lives.
“The First Minister cancelled the last derby in March at two days notice when 50,000 tickets had been sold and the pies were ready for the oven.
“It could be even easier for her to do it again this time if fans give her due reason.”
It’s unfair to suggest the inevitable outcome should be that the game doesn’t go ahead. Perhaps, there should be more provisions in place. Pubs may be discouraged or outright told they can’t stream the game in any capacity to avoid large gatherings where people are likely to break rules.
If the game was postponed we could end up in a scenario next year where there’s a playoff of four games to see who is crowned SPFL champions. Now that would be more dangerous to the public and COVID rules.