Celtic said their warm-weather training camp was "approved by all relevant footballing authorities" as well as the Scottish Government; Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon: "There are things there that should be looked into"
Wednesday 6 January 2021 13:49, UK
The Scottish FA will not investigate Celtic's decision to travel to Dubai for a winter training camp.
Celtic organised the trip in November and requested their match with Hibernian be moved to Monday, January 11.
The request was approved by the SPFL board despite protests from Hibs.
The Scottish Government confirmed on Monday it had asked the SFA to investigate Celtic's trip to Dubai.
"We would expect the SFA to look into Celtic's trip further - while there are travel exemptions for elite sports which are designed to facilitate international and European competition, if we feel they're being abused, we won't hesitate to remove this privilege," read a statement.
Celtic responded with a tweet, which read: "The training camp was arranged a number of months ago & approved by all relevant footballing authorities & @scotgov through the Joint Response Group on 12th November 2020.
"The team travelled prior to any new lockdown being in place, to a location exempt from travel restrictions. The camp, the same one as we have undertaken for a number of years has been fully risk assessed.
"If the club had not received Scottish Government approval then we would not have travelled."
Celtic boss Neil Lennon said the camp was "risk assessed and arranged in conjunction with Scottish football's Joint Response Group".
Lennon said on Tuesday: "We have put in place all the appropriate protocols and we have undertaken the camp as we see the sporting benefits from it and hope it can do for us what it has done in the past.
"From the first day of camp yesterday and into today, the boys have been working tremendously hard as we always do on a camp which has served us so well over recent seasons.
"And that will be the format for the rest of the week, very tough, but productive and important sessions to get us ready for the second half of the season."
Celtic are foolish to think their government-approved plans to go to Dubai still stand and have failed to grasp the mood of fans, says Andy Walker.
"Celtic's poor line of defence is that their Dubai plans were government-approved in November. The reality is that we are all acutely aware of how unpredictable this virus has become. So much has happened since November that it's foolish to think what was in order a few weeks ago still stands.
"If only the Celtic of today had someone like Billy McNeill who could grasp the feelings of the supporters in an instant and understand what they are all going through in these extraordinary times. Sadly, there's no one.
"Those in the boardroom stand accused of a complete lack of understanding as to what it means to be a Celtic supporter and I doubt you could find one who spends any time with ordinary fans.
"The next time Celtic fans get a message from the privileged boardroom, it will no doubt be a call to dig deep into their pockets and renew their season tickets. No wonder some fans are in despair."