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"It's Sad For The New Northern Ireland"- Rodgers On Celtic Fan Absence At Linfield

"It's Sad For The New Northern Ireland"- Rodgers On Celtic Fan Absence At Linfield

Celtic take on Linfield in the second round of Champions League qualifiers on Friday afternoon, after the fixture was understandably moved when the draw served up a trip to Belfast for the Glasgow club to be played on the 12th of July.

The PSNI were consulted, and both clubs agreed to re-arrange the fixture, but Celtic opted not to accept the ticket allocation for their supporters due to safety concerns.

Speaking to the media ahead of his side's clash with Linfield, Rodgers, an Antrim man himself, expressed his belief that the situation was a sad one for Northern Ireland.

This is a game that the football club haven't been able to have assurances for the safety of their fans, which is sad for me.

Coming back to Northern Ireland, and a new Northern Ireland, being not able in some way to ensure supporters' safety is guarded, is a problem for me.

In all fairness my players have played in a lot of environments and lots of big pressure games and they are well used to it. But it is disappointing the supporters are not there.

Wherever they travel around the world the supporters are renowned for travelling in big numbers and behaving themselves. It is a shame for Linfield and Northern Ireland. Football is loved in this country and to have the two sets of supporters there would have been fantastic.

We saw with the utterly deplorable racist banner directed at Celtic's Scott Sinclair during the week part of the reasoning behind the decision to not accept the ticket allocation, as if this fixture went ahead there is absolutely no chance that it would have gone along with no trouble for either side.

It's for the best, but Rodgers' view that it's a shame that things have to be this way is entirely fair enough.

[via Independent.ie]

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