Celtic could now have four players missing from the squad for the derby against Rangers this weekend due to COVID-19.
Hatem Abd Elhamed has joined Nir Bitton in self-isolation, with the former suspected to have the virus while the latter has returned a positive test. Odsonne Edouard’s participation in the Old Firm clash is also in doubt after being asked to self-isolate whilst with France’s Under 21s.
Ryan Christie has already been ruled out after coming into close contact with Scotland teammate Stuart Armstrong who was confirmed to have COVID-19. After the latest suspected case relating to a Celtic player, supporters on Twitter have called on the club to bring the players back to Lennoxtown:
Stand up celtic
— Tam Mchugh (@Tammchugh1) October 10, 2020
@CelticFC get them all home ASAP
— Richard (@carty1827) October 11, 2020
Maybe ask players if they want to go, because a lot of players take pride in representing there countries, and clubs can’t stop players going
— Ian Thomson (@bhoyian) October 11, 2020
They should be, it’s quite obvious those in charge of internationals can’t be trusted to keep our players safe
— Vlad (@Vlad24671319) October 11, 2020
I dunno what the restrictions are but I’d definitely back this if the club went down this route. It’s outrageous that internationals are taking place as normal. Should have take place in a bubble and cluster of games if at all.
— Críostóir☭ (@AnDeoraiRua) October 11, 2020
Duty of care should mean it happens
— It’stimetostandup (@bigjackthelad) October 11, 2020
The biggest issue is that FIFA have rules in place to override clubs when it comes to internationals. There can be punishments for any team that refuses to release players for international duty, although there has been a temporary change to the rules.
Teams are not supposed to be penalised for withdrawing players from any international match in which their participation would require the player to be put in quarantine or self-isolate for five days or more.