Hibs cup final v Celtic to going ahead as planned 'for now' as Covid worries grow

Jason Leitch says the government currently has no plans to bring in crowd restrictions for the Premier Sports Cup final between Hibs and Celtic, despite the rapidly rising number of Covid-19 cases.

By Mark Atkinson
Saturday, 11th December 2021, 9:10 pm
National Clinical Director of the Scottish Government Jason Leitch.

The country is braced for further coronavirus rule changes in the coming days after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned that Scotland would be hit by a “tsunami” of infections due to the new omicron variant.

Ministers are discussing what the next steps will be, with football clubs anticipating regulations that may impact upon crowd levels for a busy fixture schedule during the festive period.

The Premier Sports Cup final between Celtic and Hibs on Sunday, December 19 is expected to draw an attendance of more than 50,000 people and there are concerns that the game may be played behind closed doors or rescheduled.

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However, Professor Leitch, Scotland's clinical director said that, at present, there are no plans to implement changes to events such as big football matches – while warning, however, that the situation could change.

“On the 11th of December, yes, the cup final is going ahead. Nobody can absolutely guarantee what will happen between this Saturday and next Saturday,” Leitch said on Radio Scotland.

“But now, yes – the cup final is going ahead. My advice to fans is to make sure they do a lateral flow test before they go and I really hope you’re vaccinated.

“We will tell you immediately if we think it has to change. We are watching the data every day.

“For now, and you’ll notice I keep saying the date because I’ve learned when you replay interviews if the date isn’t in them then sometimes people can say you said something different.

“On the 11th of December, yes, the cup final can go ahead.”