Rangers fans have railed against Celtic and the SPFL after Hibs released a statement claiming the Parkhead club refused to take another Covid-19 test before the two clubs met in Glasgow.
Celtic have 13 first team players and three backroom staff self-isolating after French defender Chris Jullien picked up the virus and was in close contact to teammates due to travelling to Dubai.
Hibs players highlighted their own anxiety over playing with Celtic first-teamers who may yet be waiting on the virus to incubate in their bodies.
According to reports, some Hibs players had voiced these concerns pre-match, with the game eventually finishing in a 1-1 draw with a depleted Celtic now 21 points behind in the title race.
The Easter Road club would then release a statement claiming Hibs were forced to either play or forfeit the points by the SPFL.
“Hibernian FC today reiterated it would do everything possible to ensure it meets its duty of care to all players and staff ahead of tonight’s fixture at Celtic Park,” reads a Hibs statement.
“The club had asked the SPFL and Celtic to carry out an additional round of ‘on the day’ Covid 19 testing of Celtic players to provide an extra measure of assurance.
“We regarded this as a reasonable request – given the incubation period of the virus – but, unfortunately, our request was refused.
“The request followed 16 members of staff and players at Celtic being told to self-isolate on their return from an overseas training camp to Dubai after a positive result for one player, Christopher Jullien, who is long-term injured and whom we wish a speedy recovery.
“The SPFL made clear that not fulfilling the fixture would have severe consequences for Hibernian.
“The club also notes that we are being asked to fulfil this fixture less than two weeks from our Betfred Cup semi-final.
“We have been assured by the SPFL that any Covid 19 issues that may arise from fulfilling this fixture will be taken into account, and the semi-final postponed if required.”
Rangers fans aren’t exactly the biggest fans of Celtic or the SPFL and railed against the irresponsibleness of the decision taken pre-match:
Vote of no confidence in those running our game. Doncaster, Mclennan out. They are working for one club and not Scottish football as a whole
— Kris Gold (@KrisGold9) January 11, 2021
Only in Scottish football could you be threatened for raising health and safety concerns for your team😂😂😂
— John Weir (@PartickTrueBlue) January 11, 2021
Disgrace that Celtic refused. What are they afraid of? More than they are letting on..
— Rangers Banter (@foe_no) January 11, 2021
That’s a shambles! If was yous that had it Celtic would have got game called off and giving the 3p! Now yous can see what they are like! Bent over backwards for them! Good luck for tonight and stay safe.
— pollypocket1690 (@pam1690) January 11, 2021
If that is all true re Hibs being punished – I sincerely hope they have a signed doc the SPFL cover all liability for any COVID contracted by their players and staff. If I were the owner, without such a document I would refuse to play and would happily see the SPFL in court.
— SparkyRFC (@rfc_sparky) January 11, 2021
The Hibs players should refuse to play, that statement suggests they’ve been threatened/intimidated into playing.
— ChurchillsCigar (@ChurchillsCiga2) January 11, 2021
Remember when you backed the @spfl?
— Ash Wood (@dchtmf) January 11, 2021
Why should Hibs players have to risk their health all because of Celtic & the SPFL's incompetence?
The SPFL should either force Celtic to test their players before tonight's game or abandon it.
— Rangers Radio (@RangersRadioRFC) January 11, 2021
Celtic have clearly brought the game into disrepute. Hibs’ players are quite entitled to have concerns over theirs, and ultimately their families’, safety. For the SPFL to refuse to test everyone at Celtic before the game is both suspicious and negligent.
— Still staying at home every other Saturday (@CF3Loyal) January 11, 2021
Celtic FC & @spfl refuse request by Hibs for additional covid testing of Celtic players before tonight's game.
— #NoDealNicola 🇬🇧🏴🇺🇸 (@No_Bikers) January 11, 2021
No chance Hibs have asked Celtic to take a test due to players unsafe and been telt naw aff Celtic and the SPFL.
— Billy Fulton (@billy_fulton02) January 11, 2021
As it transpired Hibs played the game as Celtic once again lost ground in the title race following a controversial trip to Dubai.
Celtic jetted off to the Middle East mid-pandemic and have returned with their season in disarray due to the positive test but Rangers fans certainly do not mind.