The actions of Ibrox fans and inaction of their club could well cause the cancellation of the March 21 Glasgow Derby with no guarantee that it will be replayed later in the season.
After initially congratulating Ibrox fans on Sunday afternoon the First Minister has been forced onto the attack as the full extent of the weekend events unravel.
Worryingly for football fans there has been no acknowledgement of responsibility from the club involved and no sign of concern of sanctions from the SFA or SPFL.
With Steven Gerrard hanging out a dressing room window encouraging fans to break social distancing and players drinking alcohol while car sharing the Scottish Government have little option but to step in where the SFA seem reluctant.
Police Scotland have effectively stated that they can’t disperse such a gathering with Celtic fans concerned that the surrounds of their stadium could go the same way as George Square and the smashed up Memorial Benches if the March 21 match, when use of betting bonus codes will be in full force, goes ahead.
— SNS Group (@snsgroup) March 6, 2021
In the Daily Record this morning Keith Jackson warns:
Be in no doubt. The national game which means so very much to so very many is in very serious danger of being kicked where the sun don’t shine.
A monumental own goal scored by Rangers supporters over the weekend, when they poured on to the streets of Glasgow to demonstrate the depth of their own passion for their club, was being volleyed around the House on the Hill yesterday like a political football as one MSP after another took turns to sink the boot in.
At one point the leader of the Green Party appeared to be suggesting the Ibrox club should be shut down for the foreseeable future or at least for as long as the country continues to be held in lockdown, waiting for this killer pandemic to pass.
Meanwhile, the First Minister was busy doubling down on threats to wade into the argument by suggesting, from behind the thinnest of veils, the staging of the next Old Firm showdown, scheduled for Celtic Park in less than two weeks’ time, is now a matter of some genuine doubt.
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In August under pressure from the Scottish Government the SFA forced the postponement of two Celtic matches after Boli Bolingoli took a trip to Spain and refused to self isolate.
The SPFL television contract with Sky Sports is heavily reliant on providing the broadcaster with for Glasgow derby fixtures.
Just think about the potential consequences of that for a moment. If the cops should decide that this match poses too great a risk to public health and civil order, then they have the power to instruct the SPFL that it cannot be played.
Incredibly the SFA and SPFL have made no comment on Saturday’s events despite players racing to a gate to interact with law-breaking fans and Gerrard leading the players hanging out the dressing room window.