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Celtic manager and 13 first-team players to miss tonight's game with Hibs due to Covid-19 case

Defender Christopher Jullien tested positive for the virus after the Hoops’ controversial trip to Dubai.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon and his players (file photo).
Celtic boss Neil Lennon and his players (file photo).
Image: Jeff Holmes

CELTIC ARE FACING further disruptions ahead of tonight’s Scottish Premiership match at home to Hibernian. 

Manager Neil Lennon, assistant John Kennedy and 13 first-team players will not be involved as they have been forced to self-isolate after being deemed close contacts to defender Christopher Jullien, who tested positive for Covid-19. 

The positive result came after Celtic’s controversial trip to Dubai, which has received criticism.

In a statement released this afternoon, the club revealed the news and added that they intend to fulfil the league fixture against Hibs at Celtic Park this evening — meaning a significantly weakened team will line out.

“Celtic Football Club confirmed today that Christopher Jullien has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating at home,” it reads. “We wish Christopher a speedy recovery.

“While all of the other members of the squad and backroom team have tested negative, we have been informed by the authorities that, having been deemed ‘close contacts’, Celtic manager Neil Lennon, assistant John Kennedy and 13 first-team players will be required to self-isolate on a precautionary basis as required by the current regulations.

“The Club would like to thank the Scottish FA, JRG and the Scottish Government for their assistance in managing this case. Celtic will, of course, fulfil its fixture against Hibernian this evening.

“Clearly we are hugely disappointed, as we know our supporters will be. The contacts were identified during the period from Wednesday last week, primarily around flight and team coach travel, during which time Celtic applied the same rigorous protocols used for pre-season training camps, Uefa match travel and for all domestic match arrangements in Scotland.

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“These protocols have served us well in the past, as the Club has not had one positive case in our own ‘bubble’ until now. As we have already stated, Celtic’s decision to travel to Dubai for a training camp was for performance reasons. Whilst we were in Dubai, the announcements made on 4 January significantly changed the Covid landscape.

“The reality is that a case could well have occurred had the team remained in Scotland, as other cases have done in Scottish football and across UK sport in the past week.

“Celtic has done everything it can to ensure we have in place the very best procedures and protocols. From the outset of the pandemic, Celtic has worked closely with the Scottish Government and Scottish football and we will continue to do so.”

Celtic trail Glasgow rivals Rangers by 22 points with four games in hand on Steven Gerrard’s men. 

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

Originally published at 12.55

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