Scotland

Coronavirus: Celtic apologise for player's 'irresponsible' quarantine breach

Boli Bolingoli Image copyright BBC Sport

Celtic have apologised for a player's breach of coronavirus rules and described it as "beyond explanation".

Boli Bolingoli admitted he played in Sunday's match against Kilmarnock despite having recently returned from Spain without quarantining.

The defender said he was "guilty of an error of judgement" and apologised.

The club later confirmed all players and backroom staff have since been tested twice and returned negative results.

Police Scotland confirmed Bolingoli had been issued with a fixed penalty notice for breaching quarantine regulations.

Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said the player's actions were "utterly unacceptable."

'Difficult to imagine'

The breach comes after eight Aberdeen players apologised for visiting a bar at the centre of a Covid-19 outbreak.

Two of the players later tested positive for the virus, while six are currently self-isolating.

Celtic said it "unreservedly condemns and apologises" for the behaviour of Bolingoli, who travelled to Spain without informing the club and then failed to observe quarantine restrictions."

A club statement added: "It is difficult to imagine a more irresponsible action in current circumstances and we find it beyond explanation.

"The club will take immediate action through our own disciplinary procedures."

'Major consequences'

The Scottish champions said they have been in touch with every SPFL club and all relevant authorities to apologise "for the fact that one of our employees has created so much additional difficulty through his actions."

In an earlier statement, Bolingoli, 25, said he wanted to apologise to his manager, team mates, supporters, "and so many others for letting them down so badly".

He added: "I am guilty of a major error of judgement. I know what I did was wrong and I know that I must now deal with the consequences."

Mr Yousaf said the player's actions could have major consequences for top flight football, which only resumed in Scotland on 1 August.

He tweeted: "Utterly unacceptable from Bolingoli. With a number of incidents, Scot Govt left with little choice but to consider whether pause is now needed in resumption of the game.

"Operational matter for Border Force & Police Scot, I support whatever enforcement action they deem necessary."

The Scottish government said it was in discussion with the club and football governing bodies to establish the facts.

"If confirmed as another serious incident within Scottish football, where protocols have been breached at the risk of wider public health, then the Scottish government will have little choice but to consider whether a pause is now needed in the resumption of the game in Scotland," they added.

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