Celtic captain Scott Brown latest to urge fans to stay at home on Old Firm weekend

Scott Brown has added his voice to the growing number of Scottish football figures urging fans to stay at home this weekend when Celtic host Rangers.

The Parkhead club captain Scott Brown followed messages from the club and interim manager John Kennedy, and from Sunday’s visiting manager Steven Gerrard and captain James Tavernier this weekend.

Authorities have raised concerns over the game on Sunday following a mass gathering of Rangers fans who flouted coronavirus restrictions by celebrating the league title win in George Square last weekend. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today said a final decision on the game had not yet been taken.

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Both sides of the Old Firm were involved in a multi-agency meeting on Friday and following further discussions with national clinical director Jason Leitch, Celtic skipper Brown said: "It was very interesting to hear the latest update and the message was really loud and clear – that we are still in a very difficult situation and that while we have made some good progress, so many people are continuing to contract the virus, so many in hospital and, of course, tragically, people are still dying. So we need to do all we can to look after each other and protect ourselves and our families.

Celtic Captain Scott Brown during the Scottish Premiership match between St Mirren and Celtic at St Mirren Park (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
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“We know it has been so difficult for our fans not being part of matches, but they have done brilliantly throughout the pandemic. Our supporters have been great in sticking to the guidelines, even after we have won the League and another Treble, so we just need more of the same.

“Our priority will always be the safety of our fans and that is all we want to ensure, so our message once again is enjoy our matches from home and keep you and your family safe.

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“All the players can't wait to have our fans back with us, but for now we send our sincere thanks and appreciation for helping us to meet this challenge and also for the great support we have had all season.”

His opposite number at Ibrox, James Tavernier, issued a video message to supporters ahead of the game at the weekend while Steven Gerrard wrote to fans urging them to stay indoors.

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Celtic Park will again be empty for the third Old Firm meeting of season 2020-21 (Photo by Ross Parker/ SNS Group)

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