Celtic will potentially have to wait until tomorrow before they find out who they’ll face in the Europa League third qualifying round.
Riga and Tre Fiore battled out a stop-start first half that ended with the scoreline at 0-0. However, due to a powerful storm in Riga tonight that caused real damage to the Skonto Stadium, the game has been suspended for now.
Riga posted on their official Twitter page stating that the game will no longer be going ahead. Negotiations are now under way with UEFA for them to replay the match tomorrow night.
One spectator managed to film some of the glass dropping down from the lighting on the roof. It appeared to land dangerously close to both clubs’ benches.
Vispirms izdzisa daļa gaismu, tagad plīst gaismu stikli un krīt lejā. Es nofilmēju tikai pārpalikumu, pirmā porcija bija iespaidīga un bīstama komandu soliņiem. Pauze ieilgusi. Šādi Riga var dabūt bēdīgas sekas, lai gan skaidrs, ka laika apstākļi ir apokaliptiski. pic.twitter.com/hRG7TrnhUp
— LV_futbols (@LV_futbols) September 17, 2020
It’s unclear as to where any potential rematch will take place or when it will kickoff, but there were most certainly some worrying scenes in Latvia this evening.
Celtic are still due to face the winner of the tie next Thursday in a one-legged shootout to see who progresses into the playoff round.
A sensible decision
There’s no denying this was the right decision made by the referee and the relevant authorities here. The players’ safety comes first, and you couldn’t argue that the stadium wasn’t becoming a hazard judging by the above video.
It’s unlikely to put any real dent into Celtic’s plans for next week. The Hoops are scheduled to play the winner away from home, but outside of the slight frustration at not knowing who that is just yet, there shouldn’t be much disruption for us.
There may be an argument for the game to be given to the Sammarinese outfit given they’ve done nothing wrong and that they aren’t in charge of ensuring the stadium is fit for purpose.
However, that seems like a harsh charge on Riga if it came to pass. The potential idea of them playing tomorrow at a different venue would surely be fairer.
In any case, we’re kept waiting for now. But regardless of who eventually takes the win in this one, Celtic will be red-hot favourites to make the playoff match scheduled for October 1st.
In other news, 67HH writer Hamish Carton discusses the progress made by the Hoops over the last few weeks.