Nicola Sturgeon says that Celtic football club must answer some questions about break lockdown rules.
Scotland’s first minister
has some questions fromCeltic
football club and their training camp in Dubai as it seems to be against some of the social-distancing guidelines.
They had a trip to Dubai in the time that unnecessary travels even within the country were banned.
“As I understand it, the Scottish Government gave some advice to the SFA about the rules around elite training camps back in November last year. The world around the pandemic has changed quite a bit since November.
“It’s not our role to sign off or agree or not agree on what a football club does in terms of training camps. We set out what the rules are.
“The rules have been – and they may need to change given the changing nature of the pandemic – that elite sports can go overseas for training camps if that’s important in the context of their training for competitions.
“For me, the question for Celtic – and I am trying to be diplomatic here – is not so much ‘are they overseas at a training camp?’. It may be given changing circumstances that in future that won’t be appropriate.
“But that’s not really the question. It’s ‘what is the purpose of them being there?’
“I’ve seen a comment from the club that said it’s more for R and R than it is for training.
“I have also seen some photographs – and I can only comment on what I have seen, I don’t know the full circumstances – that would raise a question in my mind about whether all the rules at what elite players have to do in their bubble around social distancing are being complied with.
“So I think there are things there that should be looked into.
“Elite sport, and this is not just about Celtic or football, has been in a privileged position at many points over the past year, doing things that the general public can’t do.
“We all want our sports teams and people to do well and be able to train properly, but as long as that’s the case it’s really important that they don’t abuse it, that they use it for the purpose it’s intended.
“And that applies to Celtic as it would to anybody else in that position.”
But the club claimed that they have taken all the necessary precautions about the virus outbreak.
The club said:
“The training camp was arranged a number of months ago & approved by all relevant footballing authorities & @scotgov through the Joint Response Group on 12th November 2020.
“The team travelled prior to any new lockdown being in place, to a location exempt from travel restrictions.
“The camp, the same one as we have undertaken for a number of years, has been fully risk-assessed.
“If the club had not received Scottish Government approval then we would not have travelled.”