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SFA compliance officer could investigate Celtic training camp

Celtic were without a host of self-isolating players and staff for their 1-1 draw with Hibs.

SFA compliance officer could investigate Celtic training camp SNS Group

Celtic could face a Scottish FA investigation into their winter training camp in Dubai, chief executive Ian Maxwell has said.

The Parkhead club had one player test positive following their return to Scotland from their regular mid-season training camp on Friday.

However, boss Neil Lennon, assistant John Kennedy and 13 first-team players have been deemed to be closed contacts of the infected player – revealed to be defender Christopher Jullien – and will also go into self-isolation.

That left the club to cobble together a team for their 1-1 draw with Hibernian on Monday night.

Maxwell stressed that Celtic were allowed to travel as a result of the Scottish Government’s elite athlete exemption.

But after images emerged showing potential breaches of social-distancing rules as the players relaxed, he warned that the compliance officer could investigate.

Maxwell said: “It is something the compliance officer can look at.

“There are a range of things the compliance officer looks at on a daily or weekly basis and we don’t comment on them when they’re going through that process and it’s not appropriate that we do so now. 

“It’s just one of those areas that we’ll look at if required.”

Celtic said on Monday that coronavirus rules were followed during the trip.

The club said: “Clearly we are hugely disappointed, as we know our supporters will be.

“The contacts were identified during the period from Wednesday last week, primarily around flight and team coach travel, during which time Celtic applied the same rigorous protocols used for pre-season training camps, UEFA match travel and for all domestic match arrangements in Scotland.    

“These protocols have served us well in the past, as the Club has not had one positive case in our own ‘bubble’ until now.

“As we have already stated, Celtic’s decision to travel to Dubai for a training camp was for performance reasons. Whilst we were in Dubai, the (full lockdown) announcements made on January 4 significantly changed the Covid landscape.  

“The reality is that a case could well have occurred had the team remained in Scotland, as other cases have done in Scottish football and across UK sport in the past week.
 
“Celtic has done everything it can to ensure we have in place the very best procedures and protocols. From the outset of the pandemic, Celtic has worked closely with the Scottish Government and Scottish football and we will continue to do so.”