Celtic ask for Rangers and Hibs matches to be rescheduled after closed-door order

Celtic have asked the SPFL to reschedule the three rounds of cinch Premiership matches that will have to be played behind closed doors following Scottish Government orders, including the January 2 derby clash with Rangers.

Celtic are due to face Hibs and Rangers at home during the affected period.
Celtic are due to face Hibs and Rangers at home during the affected period.

From Boxing Day, football matches in Scotland can only be played in front of up to 500 fans for the next three weeks as the country grapples with surging omicron Covid-19 cases.

Celtic have two home matches in this period – against Hibs on December 29 and Rangers on January 2 – as well as a trip to St Johnstone on Boxing Day.

A statement from the club read: “Everyone at Celtic recognises the difficulties presented to society by the current pandemic, and the health and safety of all must always be our priority.

“In light of today’s announcement regarding supporters attending matches, Celtic can confirm that it has today requested that the SPFL bring forward the scheduled winter break and reschedule the fixtures affected by the regulations announced.

“The game owes it to supporters to explore all opportunities to maximise the prospect of all supporters being able to attend matches and support the game they love.”

The clubs, SPFL and football authorities are currently locked in discussions as to whether to postpone the fixtures, with a winter break for Scotland’s top flight already pencilled in from January 3-20.

Celtic’s request has been backed by Motherwell chief executive Alan Burrows.

He wrote on Twitter: "We should start the winter break now, and rearrange these matches when all fans have a chance to attend at a later date when hopefully restrictions are eased.

"That way we increase the likelihood (from zero, currently) that fans can watch the games live, all matches are played under the same parameters and clubs can commercialise the fixtures in line with current budgets.

"During that time, we put our facilities and platform at the disposal of the local health authorities to ensure as many booster vaccinations can be administered as possible."

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