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Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell apologized for the club’s decision to travel to Dubai for training camp during a global pandemic.
The reigning Scottish Premiership champions spent nearly a week at a lucrative warm-weather training camp in the Gulf State. 13 players and manager Neil Lennon were forced into isolation after defender Christopher Jullien tested positive for COVID-19.
The club has come under fire for traveling abroad during the current climate, and Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon questioned the decision. Lawwell has admitted it was a “mistake” but called the criticisms of the club’s values and integrity “unfair”.
“It’s been an extremely difficult few days,” Lawwell said. Celtic Club Official Website. “Reflecting, looking back and looking back and looking at the outcome of the trip, it was clearly a mistake and for that I deeply apologize to our fans.
“We left here and the rationale for the camp was the best of intentions. Things have not gone as we intended and the result is very regrettable.”
Lawwell explained that Celtic had ensured the same travel protocols were applied that had been previously implemented for their Europa League trips this season and had not tested positive for COVID up to this point.
“If you look back over the past four years, going to camp in Dubai has been a huge success, and the decisions we make are entirely in the best interest of the team and in the best interest of the club,” added the Celtic CEO. .
“What we were planning to do was take them to these facilities again, after a very busy schedule in November and December, which in the past has proven to be a huge benefit in terms of performance after January, so that was the rational thing to do.
“We decided to leave in November and clearly the landscape has changed significantly, particularly in the run-up to we go to Dubai in terms of the infection rate and whatever. But at the time, Dubai’s infection rate was low and still it was part of the green corridor for travel in the UK and Scotland. “