Celtic issue an apology and condemn Boli Bolingoli for his 'stupidity'

Club say defender’s behaviour has “jeopardised club’s reputation and reflects discredit on football more generally”

Celtic's Boli Bolingoli comes on as a substitute for Greg Taylor (right) during a Scottish Premiership match between Kilmarnock and Celtic at Rugby Park, on August 09, 2020. (Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Celtic have excoriated Boli Bolingoli after the player’s unauthorised trip to Spain last week. The club issued a venomous statement that hung the Belgian out to dry following the revelation that he ignored all Covid-19 protocols and travelled to the country for a short break, then did not follow the 14-day quarantine rule on his return ahead of appearing as a substitute in Sunday’s draw at Kilmarnock.

In it, they “unreservedly condemn” the full-back for “stupidity”, apologise for a breach over which they say “it is difficult to imagine a more irresponsible action”, and state the “deepest regret to us that the behaviour of one individual has jeopardised [the club’s] reputation and reflected discredit on football more generally.”

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The statement comes as figures within Scottish government have stated that a “pause” to the season will now be considered as a consequence of the non-adherence of Bolingoli’ and eight Aberdeen players to regulations Scottish football has required to meet to return during the coronovirus pandemic.

The full statement read: “Celtic Football Club unreservedly condemns and apologises for the behaviour of the player Boli Bolingoli in travelling to Spain without informing the club and in failing to observe quarantine restrictions.

“It is difficult to imagine a more irresponsible action in current circumstances and we find it beyond explanation. The club will take immediate action through our own disciplinary procedures.

“Celtic are in touch with every SPFL club today, and with all relevant authorities, to apologise for the fact that one of our employees has created so much additional difficulty through his actions.

“All of our playing and backroom staff have been tested twice for Covid-19 since this incident and all, including the player in question, have tested negative. While this comes as a relief to all concerned, it in no way diminishes the seriousness or stupidity of the player’s actions.

“Since the Covid -19 crisis began, we have had a safe and healthy squad of players, recording not one positive test. As a club, we have worked tirelessly to ensure a sustained, safe environment for all.

“We have led the way in working with the football authorities and Scottish Government to establish the most rigorous, effective protocols and working practices, which ultimately led to the resumption of football. We could have done no more in this area. It is a matter of the deepest regret to us that the behaviour of one individual has jeopardised that reputation and reflected discredit on football more generally.”

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