SFA won't investigate Celtic's Dubai trip despite calls from Nicola Sturgeon
The Scottish FA won’t investigate Celtic’s trip to Dubai despite calls from the Scottish Government to do so.
The club have come in for criticism for the mid-season training camp with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calling for the excursion to be “looked into” by the footballing authorities.
Sturgeon's comments came after the Scottish Government issued a statement with their expectations that the SFA would investigate the situation.
The statement read: "We would expect the SFA to look into Celtic's trip further - while there are travel exemptions for elite sports which are designed to facilitate international and European competition, if we feel they're being abused, we won't hesitate to remove this privilege.
Celtic organised the trip back in November when the club requested the fixture with Hibs be moved to Monday, January 11.
"The training camp was arranged a number of months ago & approved by all relevant footballing authorities & @scotgov through the Joint Response Group on 12th November 2020," Celtic tweeted.
"The team travelled prior to any new lockdown being in place, to a location exempt from travel restrictions. The camp, the same one as we have undertaken for a number of years has been fully risk assessed.
"If the club had not received Scottish Government approval then we would not have travelled."
Sturgeon said: "As I understand it, we gave advice to the SFA about the rules around elite training camps back in November last year.
"The world and the pandemic has changed quite a bit since last November, it's not our role to sign off, to agree, to not agree in terms of what a football club does in terms of training camps.”
She added: "For me, the question for Celtic, and I will try and be diplomatic here, is not so much are they overseas at training camp, it may be given the changed circumstances, that won't be appropriate. That's not really the question.
"What is the purpose of them being there? I've seen a comment from the club that said it's more for R and R than it is for training.”