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Guilty by association- Lennon gives lowdown on Christie case

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Neil Lennon believes that Ryan Christie is guilty by association with the Celtic midfielder also falling foul to Sport being a devolved issue to the Scottish Government.

Arsenal seem certain to play Kieran Tierney who was also put into self-isolation after being identified as a close contact of Stuart Armstrong who tested positive on Scotland duty.

The issue has puzzled Celtic and their supporters with strict protocols in place to allow athletes special allowance in order for professional sport to continue.

Christie has returned two negative tests since being placed in self-isolation but looks like following tomorrow’s Glasgow derby on television while Tierney and Armstrong turn out for their clubs south of the border.

The availability, or not, of Christie was the main topic put to Lennon at today’s media conference with the Celtic boss calling on medical matters and issues devolved to the Scottish Government as he navigated his way through a barrage of questions.

We’re of the understanding from stories in the media and phone calls that have been made that Kieran Tierney is eligible to play for Arsenal. If that is the case then we’ve been pushing hard to get Ryan involved as well. He’s in the same situation as Kieran was.

Since the story broke about the three of them in a room he’s had two tests with us, all negative. So from our point of view he is good to go and we’d be very confused and we’d want answers if Kieran is allowed to play and Ryan is refused to play.

It would be very, very confusing, I think that our supporters would want to know the answers to that as well. At the minute it’s still very much in the air.

Asked what Celtic were doing

Peter and the board have been pushing this from Day One but we’ve had no clarification, we’ve just been met by complete resistance so far.

Asked if Christie was surprised to be told to self-isolate?

He’s devastated, they (also Tierney) felt that they had followed the procedures properly with social distancing. They didn’t come into contact and is probably guilty by association. Like I said he is negative and has been for the last week, 10 days so we’ve got a fit and able player not being allowed to play. If this scenario pans out that Kieran can play we find that very confusing.

Asked about contact between Celtic and Arsenal

Our medical department has. They’ve spoken to the club doctor; they have had permission from the Digital and Culture Secretary who looks after Sport and I think they’ve been given the all clear for Kieran to go ahead.

We don’t have that up here because everything is devolved up here. What we’ve been told is that in its jurisdiction Ryan can’t be available to play. Which again, we find it strange.

Will the club be looking to take that any further?

Possibly, yes, we’ll certainly want some questions answered, that’s for sure.

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