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Celtic's Dubai trip leads to 15 'close contacts' | Club double down in defence of travel


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Celtic's Dubai trip over the New Year has now lead to 15 members of the playing and management team having to self isolate, after Christopher Jullien tested positive for Covid-19.

The club have confirmed that manager Neil Lennon, assistant John Kennedy and 13 first-team players will be required to self-isolate on a precautionary basis as required by the current regulations.

However, tonight's game against Hibernian is still set to go ahead.

The club have come under fire for taking the trip to Dubai, with members of the team pictured drinking poolside. However the club have once again reiterated that the trip was "performance related".

"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 announcements made on January 4 significantly changed the COVID landscape," a statement today said.

Celtic's Dubai trip

Despite the club admitting that the close-contacts were identified due to their proximity to Jullien while travelling to and from Dubai, they say it could just as easily have occurred had the team remained in Scotland.

"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.

"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," their statement concludes.


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Celtic Christopher Jullien Neil Lennon Rangers Scottish Premiership

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