Celtic and other clubs handed raw deal after SFA release Scottish Govt statement

By David Walton

September 14, 2021

Celtic are still awaiting details on how to implement potential spot-checks on supporters ahead of the process beginning on October 1st.

The Scottish Government earlier this week passed legislation confirming that vaccine passports will need to be used for large events. The SFA Joint Response Group raised concerns over the prospect of checking every fan’s details and the issues that would raise [The Scotsman].

This was something that was confirmed as a possibility by Health Secretary Humza Yousaf. But it looks as though details on how to actually implement it have still to be revealed.

The JRG, therefore, have this evening produced a clearly agitated statement calling out the Scottish Government for failing to firm up the details ahead of the implementation date in just over two weeks’ time.

“Members of the Joint Response Group have attended numerous Scottish Government-led COVID-19 domestic vaccine certification meetings, two of which took place this afternoon, to update relevant industry sectors on the implementation plans for the imminent vaccine certification roll-out.

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“The JRG reiterated its view that a system of spot-checks is the only pragmatic and workable solution to the numerous practical challenges surrounding implementation of the Scottish Government’s plans within Scottish football. The JRG sought clarity on the operational detail which clubs, football bodies and stadium operators will be expected to implement from 1st October.

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“At both meetings, the Scottish Government representatives acknowledged they were not yet in a position to provide the detail necessary for clubs to begin their implementation planning. With just over two weeks until the system is scheduled to commence in football stadia across the country, we reiterated our concern at the lack of detail available and reinforced the requirement that this information be confirmed as soon as possible.”

Scottish Gov need to provide JRG, Celtic, and Scottish football with immediate clarity

This all feels incredibly unorganised at the moment. It’s yet to even be confirmed whether spot-checks will definitely be the route forward. As of the time of writing, the government still hasn’t okay’d that process.

It’s difficult to see an alternative way of getting fans into grounds of course. Vaccine passports are an appropriate way forward. However, if you’re allowing 60k into a stadium, it needs to be done efficiently.

The last thing supporters need is big queues outside of stadiums. We know what kind of trouble that can cause, especially with so many heading into the stadium at similar times.

It’s a bit of a farce that the government have informed the JRG they have no details on implementation. These things take time to prepare. Clubs have to appoint and teach staff on the process involved. They’ll need to ensure there are processes and protocols in place to ensure the operation runs smoothly.

For us to be less than a fortnight and have no fresh details isn’t acceptable. Hopefully, this is sorted in the coming days.

If it isn’t, it’s difficult to see how clubs can be in a position to carry out vaccine certification in an acceptable manner.

In other news, Mikey Johnston’s return timeline mystery as still no sign of Celtic man