Tonight we see a case of what, on the surface, appears to be a shocking double standard playing out.
Except that it might not be.
There’s a mystery at the heart of this and it’s one that is going to leave some people with questions to answer.
Reports north and south of the border tonight claim that Kieran Tierney is going to be available to Arsenal tomorrow whereas Ryan Christie will not be available for Celtic.
Health matters might be devolved in Scotland, but on this matter it seems that the final arbiter would be the Lothian Health Board, with input from the SFA.
They were both crystal clear that the players would need to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.
This seems ridiculous when you consider that footballers are routinely tested and if neither player has antibodies right now they are unlikely to show any, but this is the rule and if it’s to be rigorously adhered to then we can only accept that.
But what if exceptions are being made for some folk and not others?
That, on the surface of it, appears to be the case here … except for one claim that has just come to light.
The claim is that Kieran Tierney has a partial immunity because he’s had the virus already.
When though? The story doing the rounds is that he had it two months ago; if this is true then how come this is the first we’re hearing about it? Who’s made this claim? Where did it originate? Did he self-isolate at the time? Why weren’t we aware of that?
If this is something Arsenal is claiming in mitigation for the player, then they have questions of their own to answer as to why this wasn’t disclosed at the time. Why wasn’t it?
These aren’t minor questions, as I’m sure is obvious.
Celtic’s position is that Christie has tested negative several times since he was told to self-isolate.
We could test him tomorrow, get a negative test and he’d still have to.
The rules do seem somewhat daft when you consider that Edouard has had this thing and if he’s deemed fit he’ll play in spite of his own period of isolation lasting a mere ten days.
But none of this is what will concern the club most; what will concern them is the appearance that Arsenal were treated differently, that Tierney has been cleared whilst Christie has not. If this is the story that’s being presented in defence of that decision, then we’re entitled to ask where the evidence is to back it up.
Because at no time was Kieran Tierney named as having had this thing since the crisis erupted at the start of this year.
Something about this stinks now, and I hope our club is going to get to the bottom of it.
Questions need to be asked about Arsenal as well if this version of events is correct.
I have a feeling we’ve not heard the end of this one, not by a distance.
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