Celtic confirm one Covid-19 case two days after squad returned from Dubai training trip


Celtic have confirmed that one player has coronavirus – less than 48 hours after the squad returned from a controversial training trip to Dubai.

The Scottish Premiership side’s players were tested on their arrival back in Glasgow on Friday after spending six days in the United Arab Emirates.

It has not been confirmed if the player was on the trip or if any close contacts have been identified.

“The player will receive all our care and full support,” said the club.

“All other members of our squad, management team and backroom squad are negative.”

Celtic are scheduled to host Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership on Monday.

Speaking on Saturday, assistant manager John Kennedy said Celtic were guilty of “minor slip-ups” in Covid-19 protocols during their stay in the Middle East.

Photos emerged of members of the Celtic party not distancing or wearing face coverings, and Kennedy said they give a “bleak” but “false” impression.

Kennedy said the club have been told they have no case to answer, despite First Minister Nicola Sturgeon questioning if rules had been breached.

“We stayed in our bubble,” he said. “You guys back here got a snapshot of one or two pictures from locals, or people on holiday, and it probably paints a false picture.

“There’s been slip-ups with minor things which, if you get a snapshot of something, you can criticise and jump on.

“We speak to the players as much as we can about the protocols. If there’s any error we try to eradicate that or fix it, and that’s what we did. The photo maybe paints a bleak picture, but we have to move on.

“The government and Scottish FA have said there’s not really a case to answer. We’ve submitted what we’ve done every day and the protocols we put in place to minimise any risk, and they seem quite content.”

Celtic have been criticised for going ahead with the trip amid Covid-19 restrictions in Scotland.

But Kennedy maintains it was “made to look worse” by their arrival on Monday coinciding with Scotland being put into a nationwide lockdown.

“It’s a difficult one because there was so much work put it and I do understand the situation” he added.

“But the latest lockdown did come when we were in Dubai, so we had travelled out there thinking everything was OK. We went over on our own flight; we didn’t mingle with anyone.

“In terms of the protocols in Dubai, the hotel gave us our own areas. We had our own eating places, our own meeting areas, our own entrance and exits. We were kept aside.”https://emp.bbc.com/emp/SMPj/2.36.7/iframe.htmlCeltic guilty of ‘minor slip-ups’ in Dubai – Kennedy

‘They had to follow the rules in Dubai’

National clinical director Professor Jason Leitch on Off The Ball

There’s the rules and there’s the spirit of the rules. Professional sport people can go on winter training camps – that is allowed. They’re not allowed to just go on a holiday, like the rest of us aren’t. That exemption if they stay within their bubble means they don’t have to quarantine when they come back.

The United Arab Emirates on Friday had 5,055 new cases – nearly double the Scottish numbers of cases. There is a lot of Covid in Dubai.

The club, when they’re in Dubai, have to follow the rules. They have to distance. They are allowed to be there, to be clear.


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