ALLY McCOIST has branded Celtic’s decision to go to Dubai for their warm-weather training camp as “STUPID”.

The Rangers legend slammed the nine-in-a-row champions in the midst of tightening coronavirus restrictions with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon demanding the SFA investigate the trip.

The Parkhead side spent five days in the United Arab Emirates before returning last night as they prepare for their Monday evening Premiership encounter with Hibs at Parkhead as they attempt to claw back the 19-point advantage held by Steven Gerrard’s side.

The Hoops have three games in hand, but that will go to four after the Gers have played Aberdeen at Pittodrie afternoon.

McCoist insisted the plans should have been scrapped regardless of whether they contravened government guidelines.

Chris Sutton, the ex-Celtic striker, had made the point his old club had not acted improperly with the trip that had been planned in November and given all the relevant sanctions at the highest levels.

The former Rangers player and manager, speaking on BT Sport’s Scottish Football Extra, said: “I hear what Chris is saying regarding not having broken any rules. Right, that’s fine, I get that.

“But, come on, guys, in the current climate, who in their right mind thinks it’s a good idea to go to another country with a group of players when there’s just been this second bout of the virus?

“It’s a stupid idea in so many ways, so many counts.”

Sutton challenged: “If it was such a stupid idea, why have the government allowed it to happen?”

McCoist responded: “I’m glad you brought that up, and I’ll ask you a question.

“If the government thought it was a good idea, why has Nicola Sturgeon asked the SFA to look into the matter?

“The fact she’s then asked the SFA would indicate to me she wants the governing body to do something about it, whether it’s have a look at it or whatever, I don’t know.

“But they’ve chosen not to do it, because potentially they’re a little bit embarrassed for, again I use the word ‘stupidity’.

“In this day and age, I can’t go up and visit my 94-year-old mother!”

McCoist added: “Our governing bodies weren’t slow to react, rightly or wrongly, Aberdeen players sitting round a table earlier on in the season.

“Kilmarnock players on a team bus. A lot of people, like myself, aren’t fully up on all the rules but the football clubs are.

“Getting back to Chris’ point, if there’s nothing legally wrong, that’s fine.

“But nobody, nobody, on this planet will convince me that common sense should have prevailed and they shouldn’t have gone, even just for the look itself.”


About Author


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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