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Celtic’s SPFL rule nuclear option that could push Rangers clash back even further

AN SPFL rule states that Celtic will be able to apply for a postponement of the new Old Firm derby fixture date with Rangers should enough players be away on international duty. 

After Premiership clubs voted to bring forward the scheduled winter break, it was announced that the original match between the sides on January 2 would be pushed back a full calendar month.

This move came after the Scottish Government announced a return to severely restricted crowds from Boxing Day – with only 500 fans allowed in ground. 

The rearranged derby date has been set for February 2, with a 7.45pm kick-off. 

This means that Celtic could be without a host of players, with Japan and Australia competing in crucial World Cup qualifiers at that time over the end of January and beginning of February.

This could potentially lead to Kyogo, Diazen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi all being away on international duty with Japan, Tom Rogic being away with the Aussies, and if Ivory Coast qualify for the latter rounds of the Africa Cup of Nations, then Ismaila Soro could also be unavailable for the Rangers game. 

But fears that the Celtic Park mean would have to face their bitter city rivals without these players have been eased. 

Rule G7 of the SPFL’s rules state that Celtic could apply for a postponement if three or more players are unavailable. 

It states: A club shall be entitled to apply to the Board for the postponement of any Official Match where three or more of its Players who would otherwise have participated in such match are unavailable through international selection and, following receipt of such an application, the Board may postpone and rearrange the relevant Official Match in accordance with Rule G3.”

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