Celtic supporters have been disappointed so many times this season, but might have something to look forward to very soon.
The SPFL have joined a number of sporting authorities to lobby the UK Government. They’ve joined a campaign to allow the use of “Vaccine passports” to allow fans back into sports stadia.
The campaign has been backed by organisers of Wimbledon and the Silverstone Grand Prix, as well as associations representing football, cricket and rugby.
Vaccine passports are proposed documents for individuals who have evidence of receiving Covid antibodies or a negative test. They’ve have been mooted as a tool for returning to normality.
While pubs, restaurants and hospitality bodies have opposed the measure, sports associations have co-signed a letter to the UK Government. According to iNews, the English Premier League and the SPFL are amongst those campaigning asking “how a Covid certification arrangement could reduce and then safely remove the requirement for social distancing” [iNews].
The letter continues:
“There are many issues to be addressed including how the technology would work and its ease of use at major events, for both the attendees and the organisers. All of our sports can see the benefit that a Covid-certification process offers in getting more fans safely back to their sport as quickly as possible. We know that our stadia can only be fully filled with an assurance process.”
What does this mean for Celtic supporters?
We all want to get back to Celtic Park as soon as possible. That’s stating the obvious. It’s the same for fans of cricket, rugby and other sports, who have been represented in this campaign.
So the SPFL backing this proposal is a good thing for fans of Scottish Football. Obviously, reintroducing fans to stadia needs to be 100% safe. Otherwise, the health implications are obvious. From a reputation stand-point, it’s also clear that football clubs would have to enforce this with ruthless strictness.
It still feels very far off. And, arguably, it’s unfair on those who haven’t had a vaccination yet.
That predominantly means the under-30s. There has been confusion over which vaccination will be used on younger people, with the Oxford-AstraZenica jag allegedly causing blood clots in under-30s [BBC].
All we know is that, amongst so many other things, Covid-19 stripped us of the ability to support our beloved Bhoys from the stands.
It’s a ritual, a huge part of our lives. Any opportunity to get back to doing that would be immensely popular.
It can’t come at the risk of health, of course. But it’s good to see the SPFL fighting for fans like this.