Ibrox Behind Closed Doors looms as Copenhagen Act – all remaining fixtures including Europa League

CELTIC’S Europa League conquerors Copenhagen have announced that ALL remaining matches this season – including their Europa League Round of 16 tie with Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir will be played behind closed doors as a result on guidelines issued by the Danish Government on response to coronavirus crisis.

Celtic fans travelled to the Danish capital last month in their thousands for the first leg of the Europa League Round of 32. Matt Corr recorded the events brilliantly in his Copenhagen Diary, which incidentally is really worth a read as it takes in plenty of European trips over the past few decades.

The Istanbul Basaksehir fans will NOT get a similar experience in their round of 16 clash with the Danish Champions. The Club released the following statement last night on their official website.

“The Danish Government have sent out new guidelines as of Friday the 6th of March 2020 to restrict the danger of infection of the coronavirus in Denmark. The recommendations from the Authorities is that events with more than 1.000 people are postponed or cancelled, and in this case played without spectators.

“We will still be playing the upcoming games, but behind closed doors without spectators. All planned home games in March in Telia Parken against AC Horsens, Istanbul Basaksehir and Randers FC will therefore be without spectators as part of measures to contain the coronavirus.

“Regarding information about purchased tickets, more information will be available in due course.”

The actions by the Danish Government are likely to be replicated by other Governments in the coming days and weeks and that could mean that Celtic’s next game after today’s Scottish Premiership tie with St Mirren is played behind closed doors.

That game is of course at Ibrox where there are only around 800 Celtic fans with tickets and hopefully Celtic will hold onto the ticket money and issue refunds directly to the supporters concerned should this match be played behind closed doors.

Yesterday Celtic issued a statement on the response to coronavirus and Neil Lennon confirmed that the club are speaking about this on a daily basis at an executive level on a daily basis, confirming that the players will now not stop for selfies with supporters due to the emerging crisis.

“There are executive meetings every morning and medical staff are briefed every morning on what shouldn’t happen.

“We’ve been told not to shake hands with people or stop for selfies or photographs.

“That’s not us meaning to be rude or anything like that, it’s just to avoid the spread.

“We have to protect the players and the staff here as much as we can. It is very important.”

Watch Neil Lennon discuss this issue at his Media Conference on Friday afternoon…

A Scottish women’s rugby international due to take place this weekend was postponed due to one Scottish player testing positive for the virus. That is an indication that the same thing will happen in football if players start to get coronavirus.

And there will be severe financial implications for clubs like Copenhagen, the Rangers and others as matches are postponed.

Meanwhile Celtic Supporters have urged to club to improve as a matter of urgency the standard of facilities in the toilets at the stadium with requests for hot water and in particular the replenishing of paper towels fir use after hand-washing at half-time. Usually these are well gone by the break so Celtic surely must ensure that this is no longer the case – starting today.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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