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Anger as Rangers v Celtic Old Firm tie is set for Hogmanay

By Laura Paterson

Published 15/09/2016

Fans in full flow at the Old Firm match
Fans in full flow at the Old Firm match

A decision to hold the next Old Firm game on Hogmanay has been branded "baffling".

The Scottish Professional Football League said the Rangers versus Celtic match would kick off at 12.15pm on December 31.

Celtic's Moussa Dembele (centre) is celebrates with his team mates after scoring the first goal of the game during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park. Pic Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Celtic's Moussa Dembele (centre) is celebrates with his team mates after scoring the first goal of the game during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park. Pic Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Ranger's Niko Kranjcar (left) and Celtic's Scott Brown (right) battle for the ball during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Rangers manager Mark Warburton (left) and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (right) during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Celtic and Rangers teams enter the field before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Rangers manager Mark Warburton (left) and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (right) shake hands before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Pic Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic green brigade fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park Stadium on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Glasgow Rangers fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Glasgow Rangers fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Glasgow Rangers fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Glasgow Rangers fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Glasgow Rangers fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Scott Brown of Celtic arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Glasgow Rangers fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic green brigade fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic green brigade fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic green brigade fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Brendan Rodgers Celtic Manager arrives arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Brendan Rodgers Celtic Manager arrives arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Leigh Griffiths of Celtic signs autographs inside Celtic Stadium before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Kenny Miller of Rangers arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic green brigade fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Joey Barton of Rangers arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic Fans arrive early before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic Fans arrive early before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic green brigade fans arrive ahead of the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier league match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Brendan Rodgers Celtic Manager arrives arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Rod Stewart arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Celtic Fans arrive early before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
GLASGOW , SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Mark Warburton Manager of Rangers arrives at Celtic Park before the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers on September 10, 2016 in Glasgow. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

The game is one of several Scottish Premiership matches taking place that day, but the timing has drawn criticism.

Scottish Conservative sport spokesman Brian Whittle said: "Everyone knows the challenges surrounding Old Firm matches and lumping that in with the most drink-fuelled night of the year is baffling."

Police made one arrest at Celtic Park on Saturday in the first Old Firm league clash for four years, but banners and effigies apparently displayed by Celtic fans caused controversy, as did damage inflicted on the Celtic stadium toilets.

Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins of Police Scotland said: "The time and date of the next Old Firm fixture was decided after discussions between ourselves, football authorities and broadcasters."

More:

Video: Shocking footage of Rangers fans destroying Celtic Parkhead toilets while singing 'Billy Boys'

Rangers fans call for Celtic supporters to be banned from Ibrox

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