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Celtic and Rangers waiting for Premiership clash ruling

Old Firm will find out soon whether the Celtic Park clash can go ahead this Sunday.

Celtic and Rangers waiting for Premiership clash ruling SNS Group

Celtic and Rangers face a further wait to see if their scheduled Scottish Premiership clash will go ahead on Sunday.

Both clubs issued messages to fans urging them to stay at home if the match takes place, following criticism of Rangers’ response to their supporters’ title celebrations.

Thousands breached lockdown rules at Ibrox and in George Square, with police reporting arrests and attacks on officers.

Chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith confirmed a “small number” of those who took part had contracted coronavrius.

He said it was too early to know the full extent of the impact of the events but that there had been an increase in cases in areas associated with celebrations, particularly Glasgow.

He said: “During the interviews the contact tracing teams are having with people who have tested positive, there are a small number who are revealing that they either took part in those celebrations or are involved in house parties that arose from those as well.”

Big crowds of Celtic fans also gathered outside their stadium before Christmas to protest over their club’s form.

The clubs have held talks with police and the Scottish Government with a final decision expected early this week.

Speaking at the Scottish Government media briefing, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the statements.

“I hope the clubs will continue that over the next few days,” she added. “It’s not just a one statement and the work is done.

“I spoke to the chief constable personally last week on his views on what might transpire if the Old Firm match goes ahead.

“We will be in further contact with police over the course of this week.”

Following a meeting which included national clinical director Jason Leitch on Monday, Celtic captain Scott Brown issued a plea for fans to stay at home.

He said: “It was very interesting to hear the latest update and the message was really loud and clear – that we are still in a very difficult situation and that while we have made some good progress, so many people are continuing to contract the virus, so many in hospital and, of course, tragically, people are still dying.

“So we need to do all we can to look after each other and protect ourselves and our families.”

His Rangers counterpart James Tavernier and manager Steven Gerrard previously urged fans to stay at home on Sunday.