Celtic promise to reschedule Derry City friendly at Parkhead

DECLAN Devine is confident Derry City can reschedule a friendly against Scottish Premier League champions, Celtic at Parkhead in the coming months.

Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 6:37 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 6:48 pm
Derry City were all set to travel for a friendly against Celtic at Parkhead until the FAI stepped in.

The FAI pulled the plug on the Candy Stripes’ proposed friendly against Neil Lennon’s side this Saturday due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Dundalk were initially pencilled in to play the nine-in-a-row SPL champions but were told they would have had to quarantine for 14 days after returning from Glasgow.

While Derry don’t have to isolate if returning to Northern Ireland from the UK, given they are scheduled to play St Pat’s in Dublin on Monday, August 3rd - in less than the required 14 days quarantine - the FAI refused to give the club the green light to travel to Scotland.

Devine insists he’s ‘disappointed’ the high profile match against the Hoops couldn’t take place as his club continue preparations for the resumption of the league campaign next Friday night against Sligo Rovers.

However, he revealed the Glasgow giants have given assurances they will rearrange a friendly match against the Brandywell club in due course.

“It was a brilliant opportunity which was put to us by Celtic,” said Devine.

“We did all our business as clean as a whistle and Celtic were very impressed with how we went about our side of things in preparation for the game.

“We all went and got tested and did everything by the book and then at the last minute the FAI wouldn’t sanction it as far as I know.

“It’s disappointing but at the same time, Celtic have given us an assurance they will have us over at a time that suits in the coming months.

“We would have loved the opportunity to go over there and play but at the same time it was vitally important that as a club we took guidance and listened to the powers that be.

“From the players point of view, the positive out of it all is that they will be promised a game at Parkhead in the coming months.”