Manchester United have decided against going out to the Middle East for a mid-season training camp, less than a week after Celtic returned from Dubai.
Neil Lennon’s Hoops visited the UAE for the fourth successive season earlier this month as they gear up for the second half of their Premiership campaign.
The Bhoys were already out in the Middle East when the well documented political tensions flared up, but chose to stay in Dubai while being guided by advice from the Foreign Office.
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men won’t be travelling out to the region when they get a two week break next month.
“I’m going to give them a few days off,” the Norwegian told Sky Sports News. “I don’t know where the players will scatter around but we will stay in Europe.
“Yep [we changed our mind]. If there is one thing that worries me, it is not on the football pitch. There are things that will worry me more than the football.
“We were looking at the Middle East but that is definitely not going to happen.”
Manchester United stance would surely be adopted by Celtic
There was little that we could have done this year as the news broke when we were already in Dubai.
Of course, the team could have decided to jet back to Scotland immediately, but I bet they’re glad they stayed put and got to grips with the intense training.
There are things far more important than football though, and it will be very interesting to see if we decide to visit Dubai again next year.
It would be a shame if politics prevented us from doing so. Say what you want about the place, but our players have benefitted a lot from their visits there in the past few years.
It has become almost as much of a yearly custom as us winning the Premiership trophy and it would be disappointing if it was scrapped.
But if teams like Manchester United are avoiding the area, you would be surprised if we were to visit again in the not too distant future.