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CELTIC ‘NO’ TO SFA BID

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CELTIC’S hectic game schedule has forced the champions to oppose the SFA’s bid to have a Premiership shutdown before the the Euro 2020 semi-final against Israel at Hampden in March.

The nation’s rulers have called for a weekend wipe-out to give Steve Clarke’s side every chance of reaching the summer Finals.

However, Neil Lennon’s team have seven successive midweek fixtures at home and in Europe once the season gets underway again with a Scottish Cup-tie against Partick Thistle at Firhill on Saturday evening.

If the Hoops overcome FC Copenhagen in the last 32 of the Europa League next month, they will have an additional two Thursday matches on March 12 and 19.

That will force them to move their Premiership meeting with St Johnstone at Parkhead to Sunday March 22.

If the SFA get their wish and there are no top-flight matches on March 21 or 22, they will have to be played on the final midweek before the top six split.

That will result in the Hoops having to negotiate TEN midweek matches in a row.

Players such as Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie, James Forrest and Greg Taylor will almost certainly be involved in the Scotland squad meaning they could face 11 games in succession.

The Hoops are eager to support Clarke in his bid to guide the nation through to the first major finals since reaching the World Cup extravaganza in France in 1998.

However, with such a fixture pile-up, it looks as though they will not be able to back the wishes of the SFA.

 

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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