Celtic’s Players Are Playing International Football Russian Roulette And The Club Is Worried.

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Like an ever expanding disaster area, it just gets worse every time you pick up a paper or go online.

The Israeli squad already had a positive virus case before they played their game in midweek and now Nir Bitton has it.

Stuart Armstrong tested positive whilst on duty with Scotland and spent too much time with Ryan Christie, who’s in self-isolation.

The second I heard there was a positive case with the Republic of Ireland squad I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Now the outbreak there is spreading. So far it’s not affected Shane Duffy but what are the odds?

I am always relieved and happy when an international break ends.

The only thing we’ve ever had to worry about before were injuries; now every player who gets on a plane for one of them is playing Russian Roulette with this damned thing as well, and the best measures our club has put in place here at home are simply not being replicated elsewhere.

The nature of international football is, itself, precarious and dangerous.

We have players travelling from all over the world to gather together … some of those countries don’t have precautions anywhere near as stringent as ours, and a lot of these players don’t get tested regularly at all until they are with the national teams. That makes it a risk too far.

I have suggested that Celtic pull players out of these matches; the club itself has issued statements pointing out that it has no say in the matter. I accept that and I am grateful to the club for bringing clarity to the matter in the way they have.

I am also glad to read the note of frustration – if not outright anger – in Celtic’s statements; the club is absolutely aghast at the reports it is getting.

We have taken every measure possible, and in the space of a week, through no fault of ours, three of our first team players – all starters – have been ruled out of the match against the Ibrox club next weekend.

This is untenable.

The club is talking to the FA’s in various countries, but the people they want to start talking to are our own … the SFA should be making its own frustration clear to UEFA and FIFA.

That some of these matches are going ahead with an ever expanding emergency in the backgrounds is frankly astonishing.

The Ireland game has already kicked off, and Duffy is playing in it; it was a relief to see him on the park.

It will be even more of a relief when he and every single international player is back at Lennoxtown where none of this is a concern.

Right now it’s a very big concern.

It used to be that all you worried about during internationals were players picking up the odd injury; this is far worse.

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