Sky Sports reporter Anthony Joseph has explained why Celtic vs Hibernian is going ahead tonight.
Celtic confirmed this afternoon that Christopher Jullien had picked up Covid. In addition to that, 13 other players, manager Neil Lennon, and assistant manager John Kennedy has been forced into self-isolation.
In the Hoops’ statement, they confirmed they would go ahead with their fixture against Hibs tonight. This will obviously involve players who have not been deemed close contacts although may still have gone to Dubai. This has led to calls on social media for tonight’s game to be postponed or for Hibs to be given the points.
However, reliable Sky Sports reporter Joseph has explained why that won’t be happening:
People asking why the game is going ahead…
Celtic have a big enough squad (just) to field a team and subs.
But it’ll also mean they are likely to avoid further punishment from the football authorities.
Had they asked to postpone the game, they’d be in a lot more trouble.
— Anthony Joseph (@AnthonyRJoseph) January 11, 2021
Sky Sports man puts everyone straight; Celtic vs Hibernian still going ahead
This makes total sense. It can be a bit blurry for those who will be wondering why tonight’s game hasn’t been cancelled. However, if Celtic have a squad to compete then it shouldn’t really be affected.
Regardless of how Hibs feel, they’re still obliged to play out the fixture. The Scottish Government wouldn’t allow it to go ahead if there was a major risk of a spread. Whatever happened in the club’s meeting with government officials, the game was given the go-ahead.
All we await now is who is exactly missing for tonight. It could be the case that the vast majority of players missing are fringe players. That’s what Celtic supporters will be hoping when they see the teamsheet this evening. We could certainly do with it if we’re to take the points against Hibs.
However, it looks as though Celtic were only a few more close contacts from having to postpone this one. Goodness knows where that would’ve left us. For me, it should’ve resulted in a defeat and an automatic three points for Hibs.
But thankfully that isn’t the case. We look to have avoided any sort of postponement this evening, or indeed a cancellation. That would’ve reflected even more poorly on Celtic.
Hopefully we can squeeze through this one tonight with a win intact. Until the 13 players return, eeking out results is a lot more important than performances.