First Minister Nicola Sturgeon issued Scottish football a ‘yellow-card’ as Celtic footballer Boli Bolingoli broke lock-down rules to fly to Spain before the club’s match against Kilmarnock.
The Hoops left-back was pictured touching down in Malaga on Monday and stayed for twenty-four hours without telling his employer about the trip.
The Belgian defender lined up for Celtic for their fixture versus Kilmarnock on the following Sunday, despite the quarantine period for trips to Spain being 14 days after returning to the United Kingdom.
Celtic released a statement in response to the incident that read:
“Celtic Football Club unreservedly condemns and apologises for the behaviour of the player Boli Bolingoli in travelling to Spain without informing the club and in failing to observe quarantine restrictions.
“It is difficult to imagine a more irresponsible action in current circumstances and we find it beyond explanation. The Club will take immediate action through our own disciplinary procedures.
“Celtic are in touch with every SPFL club today, and with all relevant authorities, to apologise for the fact that one of our employees has created so much additional difficulty through his actions.
“All of our playing and backroom staff have been tested twice for Covid-19 since this incident and all, including the player in question, have tested negative. While this comes as a relief to all concerned, it in no way diminishes the seriousness or stupidity of the player’s actions.”
The news comes after the reveal that eight Aberdeen players also flaunted lock-down restrictions to party in Aberdeen city centre, resulting in two of them testing positive for COVID-19.
This has forced the SPFL to postpone the fixtures between Aberdeen’s match with St. Johnstone, Celtic’s away game to St. Mirren and of course the clash between the two clubs on Saturday.
The First Minister gave a warning shortly after: “I regret that some football players seem incapable of living up to their responsibilities.
“We can’t have privileged players just deciding they won’t bother. Don’t expect Aberdeen/Celtic to play over the coming week. This is a yellow card. Next time will be red.”
“The suspension of football if people continue to break the rules can’t be ruled out, but I really don’t want that to happen. The solution lies in the hands of footballers and football clubs.”