Sunday’s Scottish Premiership clash between Celtic and Rangers will go ahead with a significant police presence in Glasgow.
The Scottish Government confirmed the match would take place as scheduled following talks with police, both clubs and the football authorities.
The game had been placed in doubt after thousands of Rangers fans broke lockdown rules and gathered in Glasgow to celebrate their title success two weeks ago.
Rangers’ response came under major criticism from the Government but messages from both clubs urging fans to stay at home on Sunday have reassured the authorities.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Ministers and officials have had extensive engagement with both clubs, the SPFL, Police Scotland and Glasgow City Council ahead of the game.
“Celtic and Rangers have strongly emphasised to their supporters throughout this week that they must stay at home and not gather. I welcome their positive and constructive approach to working with us to ensure the game can safely take place behind closed doors.
“Police Scotland have confirmed there will be a significant police presence in Glasgow to maintain public safety.
Ahead of this weekend's match the message from the Club remains the same, please continue to follow Gov guidance, stay home and stay safe. Please do not attend Celtic Park on Sunday, your cooperation is very much appreciated🍀 pic.twitter.com/lMuRez8Uav— Celtic FC SLO (@CelticFCSLO) March 15, 2021
“I urge the fans to listen to the messages from their clubs, the police and government to stay at home.
“I also encourage Celtic and Rangers – and all other clubs in Scotland – to continue to urge their supporters to stay home during games until they are permitted to return.
“With a number of high-profile games scheduled for the remainder of the season, it is important there is no complacency and pressure is maintained to ensure we continue to supress the virus.”
Rangers can confirm that our Manager, Sporting Director & Captain met with a group of supporters in relation to the upcoming Old Firm at Parkhead.— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) March 19, 2021
We are pleased that all fans are aligned on our key message.
Stay home. Stay safe. Support the NHS.
Support the champions 👍🏼🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/PiXyIN0gAV
Rangers held direct talks with some supporters to ensure they are fully aware of the club’s messaging.
A club statement on Twitter read: “Rangers can confirm that our manager, sporting director and captain met with a group of supporters in relation to the upcoming Old Firm at Parkhead.
“We are pleased that all fans are aligned on our key message. Stay home. Stay safe. Support the NHS. Support the champions.”