Date: 7th September 2020 at 6:55am
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Rod Petrie and Ian Maxwell have opted out of Scotland’s trip to the Czech Republic while NINE Celtic employees are in the official party.

Today’s Nations League tie looks like going ahead in front of no fans with the home side forced into playing their u-20 side. The SFA Chief Executive and President will be watching from the safety of their home.

While the top brass of the SFA have opted to stay at home Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie, James Forrest and Greg Taylor are in the Czech Republic alongside five members of Celtic’s backroom staff led by goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods.

UEFA did give clubs the option to withdraw players if they had health concerns over international travel but after a chat with Chief Executive Maxwell on Saturday Peter Lawwell allowed nine Celtic employees to make the trip.

The Daily Record reports:

Scotland’s tie with the Czech Republic turned into a grudge match as relations between the two nations hit rock bottom and Celtic sought assurances their players are not at risk.

SFA president Rod Petrie and chief executive Ian Maxwell did not join the travelling party as boss Steve Clarke and his players flew out for the tie in Olomouc.

The no-show comes after the Czech FA refused to respond to repeated attempts for clarification after they announced on a Twitter account on Friday night that the game would not be going ahead.

Although both Petrie and Maxwell are believed to have been infuriated by the stonewalling, Record Sport understands the decision to stay at home and avoid one of Europe’s virus hotspots was based chiefly on health and safety grounds.

We can also reveal Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell also contacted Hampden’s sixth floor on Saturday to seek safety assurances, with infection numbers across the Czech Republic hitting record levels over the last week.

Four Hoops stars are in Clarke’s playing squad while another five of Lawwell’s Lennoxtown staff make up part of the technical support team.

Explaining the decision of Maxwell and Petrie to stay at home a Hampden source told the Daily Record:

Although Rod Petrie and Maxwell are far from happy, they have not made the decision to stay at home as some sort of snub.

The Czech Republic is experiencing a major spike in positive cases and neither of them could have made that trip and fulfilled their obligations without stepping outside the bubble that has been created for Steve Clarke and the players.

It was decided only those who are absolutely necessary to the manager and his team should be part of the travelling party.

Should Peter Lawwell have withdrawn all Celtic employees from this trip?

Yes, if Petrie and Maxwell opt out so should our players

Yes, if Petrie and Maxwell opt out so should our players

No, we need our players in the Scotland squad regardless of risk

No, we need our players in the Scotland squad regardless of risk

Today’s match kick’s off at 8.45pm local time with Scotland flying home straight after the match. Celtic resume domestic action at Ross County on Saturday followed by a trip to St Mirren next Wednesday.