A leading Scottish football pundit believes that the Scottish Government could pull the first Old Firm match of the season if fans don’t behave.
Suggesting the upcoming Rangers and Celtic meeting in October is a potential “biological bomb” due to people meeting in pubs or households, Hugh Keevins believes the onus is on supporters to salvage the situation.
Writing in his latest Daily Record column, the Clyde Superscoreboard pundit has taken incendiary aim at Rangers and Celtic fans in a purely hypothetical take about the upcoming match at Celtic Park.
The outspoken pundit suggests that fans of either side will “only have themselves to blame” if the government pulls the plug despite no official or statistical suggestion increases in coronavirus cases in Scotland are being determined by these two groups specifically.
“Supporters routinely hammer the SPFL board for everything and anything connected to the coronavirus crisis,” writes Keevins.
“But what will happen when fans are asked to do their bit to avoid the season being thrown into pandemic pandemonium?
“It would be naive to think, under the present circumstances, parliamentary permission for Celtic to face Rangers on October 17 isn’t coming under periodic review.
“Why? Show some people in this country a lockdown restriction and they’ll ignore it.
“Ask people only to meet in groups of six and the response will be: “Aye, that’ll be right.”
“Household parties? Police Scotland were required to deal with 405 breaches of Covid-19 regulations last weekend.
“That’s 405 reasons to be concerned about Glasgow derby day bringing forward an outbreak of spontaneous combustion.
“How do we prevent any, or all, of the following?
“● Supporters of both clubs milling around the vicinity of Celtic Park for a piece of the action.
“● A significant number of living rooms being packed with relatives and friends there to support one team or the other.
“● Every pub, club and meeting place in the West of Scotland and beyond being thronged by rival fans screaming at television sets showing live coverage of the big match.”
With friends like these, who needs enemies?
The piece is obviously attempting to serve as a warning for what might happen if fans do not follow the rules on the 17th of October.
But the entire nation is in the same boat and the suggestion either Rangers or Celtic fans are any different from your ordinary Saturday night crowd is both unfair and probably unmerited.
Whilst the overwhelming majority of both club’s supporters will follow the rules, these comments suggest the opposite.
As matchday approaches restrictions may well tighten but to attack supporters for the spread of the virus with no real justification or evidence is unfair.
Everyone has to take responsibility for tackling Covid-19 and it is incredible that someone who works within football – where fans regularly feel attacked by the media and the powers that be – could be so dramatic towards football fans.
When it comes to Scottish football, with friends like these, who needs enemies?