It would be a “disgrace” if authorities called off the upcoming derby day clash between Celtic and Rangers.
That is the view of former Aberdeen striker Noel Whelan who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted it was up to the government to take measures to prevent supporters from breaching Covid rules.
As confirmed by the justice minister Humza Yousaf via Twitter, there is a possibility the match may be postponed if intelligence suggests there will be gatherings of fans.
On upcoming Celtic Vs Rangers match, we need clear messaging from everyone that fans must stay at home. If Police intelligence tells us, despite clear messaging, that groups of fans are going to gather to square off with each other, we need to consider if game should be postponed
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) March 12, 2021
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Yousaf confirmed a final decision will be taken “early next week”.
Rangers have come under fire for not taking action after crowds of supporters gathered in the wake of their title victory last weekend.
However, Whelan suggested authorities actually wanted measures to fail so they could point the finger at the clubs.
“They’re the ones, the government, giving the guidelines,” Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.
“Make sure you’re there then, Make sure you’ve got everything in place to stop this from happening. It’s simple.
“They’re the ones that have to put things in place to make it safe, to keep fans away. It doesn’t take too much for that to happen. It’s like they want it to fail so they can whinge about something.
“Everybody knows how important the Old Firm is. Not just to the two sets of fans but football in general. Everyone wants to watch it, it’s a spectacle and one everybody looks forward to whether you support the clubs or not.
“It’d be shocking. It’d be a disgrace if it didn’t go ahead just because they feel that fans might breach certain Covid guidelines.
“That’s down to the two clubs and the government to get their heads together and make sure everything’s in place to stop anything like that from happening.
“If they put things in place, it then deters people to come down.”