Celtic draws with Hibernian after 13 players forced to self-isolate

It meant Celtic was with out supervisor Neil Lennon, assistant John Kennedy and 13 first-team players for Monday’s recreation following defender Christopher Jullien’s constructive take a look at days after the membership returned from a winter coaching camp in Dubai.

David Turnbull’s well-hit free-kick appeared to have secured victory for the depleted facet, however Kevin Nisbet secured a draw for Hibernian with an injury-time strike.

Celtic is now 21 factors adrift of rival Rangers, albeit with three video games in hand, and appears unlikely to win a tenth consecutive Scottish Premiership title.

“There’s a sense of pride among the younger players but there’s also a massive sense of frustration that we couldn’t see it out,” coach Gavin Strachan instructed Celtic TV.

“That’s drilled into these players at this club — that it’s about winning and we always want good performances. We fell short at the last hurdle tonight.”

The draw and Jullien’s constructive take a look at got here after criticism of the membership’s journey to Dubai earlier this month with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon saying throughout her coronavirus briefing on Monday that she was “disappointed and frustrated” with the state of affairs.

“As I have said before, I do have doubts, based on how the club itself described it, doubts about whether Celtic’s trip to Dubai was really essential,” Sturgeon mentioned, including that “everyone, including football, should be erring on the side of caution.”

Hibernian boss Jack Ross instructed Sky Sports that his players’ households had expressed issues forward of the match in opposition to Celtic. The membership had requested for a further spherical of “on the day” testing of Celtic players to happen, however the request was refused.

In a statement on Monday, Celtic mentioned 15 workforce members had been required to self-isolate having been deemed “close contacts” with Jullien, whereas additionally defending the journey to Dubai.

“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,” mentioned the assertion.

(*13*)As we’ve got already said, Celtic’s determination to journey to Dubai for a coaching camp was for efficiency causes … The actuality is {that a} case may properly have occurred had the workforce remained in Scotland, as different circumstances have performed in Scottish soccer and throughout UK sport prior to now week.”

On January 4, Celtic said the training camp was approved by all relevant football and government authorities and that it had been “absolutely threat assessed.”

Strachan additionally defended the journey after Monday’s recreation, telling Sky Sports: “We’ve adopted protocols as to what have been agreed and what have labored prior to now all season. That’s our stance on it.”

On Tuesday, Dubai was removed from the UK’s travel exempt list, meaning those arriving from Dubai must self-isolate for 10 days.

“Since January 3, greater than 50 folks have examined constructive for Covid in Scotland after coming back from Dubai,” Sturgeon said during her briefing.

“Now, let me be clear. That would not essentially imply that they obtained Covid once they had been in Dubai, however the quantity of constructive circumstances strongly means that there could be vital dangers connected to journey to and from Dubai proper now.”

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