After Holyrood requested the matter to be investigated by the Scottish Football Association, Celtic insisted that their infamous sunshine trip to Dubai was authorised by the Scottish Government. Neil Lennon and his Hoops side flew to the Middle East on Saturday for a warm-weather training camp after suffering a crushing loss to Rangers in the derby that left them 19 points behind in the Premie Training Camp
The SFA had previously been ordered by the Scottish government to investigate whether the club had violated special corona virus exemptions, and Celtic replied on Monday night saying they had done nothing wrong. They wrote in a series of tweets: “The training camp was organized several months ago and approved on November 12, 2020 by all relevant soccer authorities and @scotgov through the Joint Response Group. The club posted the following response in response to the statement by the Scottish government, “The training camp was arranged several months ago and approved by all relevant soccer authorities and @sc. The camp, the same one that we’ve been running for many years, has undergone a total risk assessment. We would not have traveled if the club had not obtained permission from the Scottish government. “If the club had not received permission from the Scottish government, we would not have traveled. ” But travel was only permitted for “essential reasons” even before the new rules were enforced on Monday, so Holyrood bosses wanted to know why the leadership and squad of Celtic had chosen to jet off to Dubai. The derby victory by Rangers left Celtic’s 10-in-a-row hopes hanging by a thread (Andrew Milligan/PA) “Following the First Minister’s latest update to Parliament, we would ask people not to travel abroad, across the UK or beyond their local authority unless absolutely necessary,” said a spokesman for the Scottish Government. We expect the SFA to look at Celtic’s travel more closely – while there are exemptions for top-level sport to encourage international and European competitions, we will not hesitate to revoke that privilege if we believe they are being exploited,”We expect the SFA to look more closely at Celtic’s travel – while there are exemptions for top-level sport to facilitate international and European competitions, if we feel they are being abused, we will not hesitate to remove that privilege,” Celtic’s trip was described by former St. Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour as a “relaxation trip” – but Lennon maintained that this was not the case: “It’s not a break, it’s a training camp. It’s just a change of scenery. But Deputy First Minister John Swinney, in an interview with BBC Radio Scotland, accused the Glasgow Giants of not setting a particularly good example: “I don’t think it’s a good idea. I think we all need to display leadership on that particular topic if we ask members of the public to take very, very severe restrictions on the way they live their lives. “Celtic will face Hibernian next Monday night.Asked if the defending Scottish champions would be allowed back into the country, Swinney said, “They’re going to be allowed back in, but they’re not going to. “They will be allowed back in, but they will have to follow all the rules in doing so, and frankly I don’t think it’s a good idea to do that at this point in time. “The SFA said they’re going to be allowed back in. “The SFA was contacted by the PA news agency for comment.