Celtic have had their upcoming games postponed after defender Boli Bolingoli played following a secret trip to Spain. Scotland first Minister issued Celtic with a “red card warning” but let Scottish football off with “a yellow card warning”.
The government in Scotland were considering suspending all Scottish football after it emerged Bolingoli failed to quarantine after his trip to Spain. In fact, the Hoops defender came off the bench in Sunday’s Scottish Premier League game with Kilmarnock which ended in a 1-1 draw. Celtic have since came out and said it as stupid behaviour and inexplicable. However, Celtic are due to face Icelandic side KV Reykjavik in a first round Champions League qualifier on August 19th. They now face an anxious wait as investigations will have to occur, with decision likely left up to UEFA.
The Scottish Champions game with St Mirren has been called off, as has Aberdeen’s match with Hamilton on Wednesday. The Don’s trip to Celtic Park on Saturday has been postponed. It’s not the first incidence of players breaking rules though, as Nicola Sturgeon issued a stark warning to Scottish football after 8 Aberdeen players broke protocol and went on a night out after the opening game of the season. Incidentally, 2 of the 8 contracted Covid 19, while the other 6 had to self isolate for the period of 14 days.
The Scottish First Minister issued a statement on Tuesday saying, “This is just not acceptable. We can’t have privileged football players just deciding they are not going to bother. “Consider today the yellow card. Next time it will be the red card because you will leave us with absolutely no choice.” Neil Lennon, Celtic boss was very angry that Bolingoli broke protocol. He said “it might be very difficult to be welcomed back into the fold at Celtic Park”. Lennon continued, “I am livid; (it was a) total betrayal of trust. He took a flight to Spain on the Monday and flew back on Tuesday – one day in Spain, no logic to that – and decided to keep it to himself. “Trained all week in this bubble and was part of the squad for Sunday and put everybody at risk, the Kilmarnock players and staff as well.
Bolingoli did say he wanted to apologise to fans and players for letting them down so badly. He said, “I am guilty of a major error of judgement. I know what I did was wrong and I know that I must now deal with the consequences.”