The second Old Firm Derby of the season will be played in front of just 500 fans on January 2 after new restrictions were announced by the Scottish government. The restrictions have been put in place to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant with Celtic requesting for the winter break to be brought forward. The announcement was made by Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon and stated that all outdoor events would have a maximum capacity of 500 for three weeks from Boxing Day.
“Everyone at Celtic recognizes the difficulties presented to society by the current pandemic and the health and safety of all must always be our priority,” their statement read about the Old Firm Derby at Celtic Park. “In light of today’s announcement regarding supporters attending matches, Celtic can confirm that it has today requested that the SPFL bring forward the scheduled winter break and reschedule the fixtures affected by the regulations announced. The game owes it to supporters to explore all opportunities to maximize the prospect of all supporters being able to attend matches and support the game they love.”
“This will of course make sports matches, including football, effectively spectator-free over this three-week period,” she said. “And it will also mean that large-scale Hogmanay celebrations, including that planned here in our capital city, will not proceed. I know how disappointing this will be for those looking forward to these events, and for the organizers of them.”