Timothy Weah was asked to leave Celtic yesterday afternoon because he refused to play in the Scottish Cup final against Hearts.
The 19-year-old’s loan from Paris Saint-Germain was cut short yesterday afternoon, with the striker laying the blame for his premature exit at Neil Lennon as he left the club. Weah used social media platform Instagram to say: “I will be joining my national team to participate in the U20 World Cup in Poland. With this decision, the gaffer told me it is in the best interests of the team that I collect my things and go home rather than be a part of the game on Sunday so I’ll be on my way.”
It is understood, however, that the player was offered the opportunity to play for Celtic in Scottish Cup final at Hampden on 25 May and then rejoin his international colleagues in Poland for the remainder of their World Cup campaign.
The USA had invited Weah to head to a training camp after this weekend’s game against Rangers at Ibrox to start preparations for the World Cup but Tab Ramos, the under-20 manager, was prepared to allow Weah to then return to Lennoxtown the week before the cup final.
The understanding was that Weah would then have ample time with his Celtic colleagues to prepare for the club’s bid to secure a historic treble treble.
The compromise agreed with the club and the USA coaching staff was that Weah would miss their opening game against Ukraine but would return to Poland immediately after the Hampden game against Hearts.
That would have given Weah the remainder of the World Cup campaign with America’s next games on Monday 27 May against Nigeria and Qatar on Thursday 30 May.
It was Weah himself who refused to return to Glasgow for the final game of the season. Caretaker Celtic manager Lennon interpreted that decision as a lack of commitment from the player and felt it best for all parties that he leave the squad.
“I still have a lot of growing up to do in my game,” said Weah. “I am especially thankful to the Celtic family for giving me the opportunity to show you all what I am capable of doing once given the chance. I want to thank my team-mates for supporting me every step of the way. Thanks so much to Celtic FC and to you the fans for accepting me.”