Celtic have issued a warning to players and staff as the coronavirus outbreak starts to take it’s toll on Scottish football according to a report in The Herald.
The club has briefed it’s employees not to stop for fans requesting photographs and autographs and to avoid shaking hands/contact with supporters to minimise the chances of any players or background staff contracting the virus.
This comes off the back of the SFA already claiming that it would be “difficult” to finish the season should even just one club become affected.
Neil Lennon gave his thoughts on the situation and highlighted that although, in an ideal world, he would want to play every game in front of a crowd, the health and safety of the players is of paramount importance:
“We have briefings every morning [regarding how best to deal with Coronavirus]. We have to protect the players as much as we can.”
“We want to play the games in front of full houses. The club will guide me on how to guide my players and my staff.”
“There are executive meetings and medical staff are briefed on what should and shouldn’t happen.”
“We’ve been told to avoid shaking hands with people or stop for selfies or photographs. It’s not meaning to be rude or anything, it’s just to avoid the spread. We have to protect the players and staff, it’s very important.”
Continental competitions have already seen games being played behind closed doors and Italy faces a total shut-down of all sport until the 3rd of April whilst closer to home, Manchester City v Arsenal – scheduled to take place tonight – has been postponed after players and staff of the London based club have been forced to self-isolate having come into contact with the Olympiakos owner who has subsequently been diagnosed as having the virus.
Will the Scottish Premiership be played to a conclusion?
With an unprecedented fourth treble on the cards and 9-in-a-row all but in the bag, Celtic – whilst mindful that public safety is paramount – will be desperate to avoid a doomsday scenario that sees this season’s efforts being in vein should the SFA write it off – hopefully it won’t come to that, but stranger things have happened.