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The reason behind Celtic’s unusual Tuesday afternoon Europa League kick-off time

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Celtic host Ferencvaros on Tuesday afternoon.

Celtic are in Europa League action on Tuesday afternoon and the kick-off time is likely to leave a number of football fans stumped.

It’s not unusual for European fixtures taking place further east to have early GMT kick-off times but given that Celtic are at home to Ferencvaros at 3.30pm on Tuesday, the reason might not be clear.

Essentially, it all comes down to the COP26 climate summit which takes place in Glasgow in November, meaning that neither Celtic nor Rangers will be permitted to play at home on matchday four.

Why are Celtic playing on Tuesday afternoon?

There are, however, some further complications. The two Old Firm rivals aren’t allowed to play at home on the same night and with Rangers hosting Brondby on Thursday, Celtic are being forced to play their Hungarian opponents on Tuesday.

On top of that, Uefa do not want Europa League matches to clash with Champions League fixtures and with matches in the continent’s premier club competition scheduled for 5.45pm and 8pm on Tuesday, The Hoops have been asked to play at 3.30pm.

Celtic endure nightmare Europa League start.

Got all that? Good.

In any case, Celtic have a lot to do in order to get out of their Europa League group, with two defeats in their opening two games leaving them rooted to the bottom of the table, level on zero points with Tuesday’s opponents.

This is despite a bright start, which saw the Glasgow giants take a 2-0 lead away to Real Betis in their opening match before eventually losing 4-3.

They followed that up with a 4-0 home defeat to Bayer Leverkusen, meaning that defeat to Ferencvaros on Tuesday would all but end their chances of progerssion.

When speaking about the unusual kick-off time, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou acknowledged the efforts of supporters who will attend the game.

“It’s obviously going to be a bit of a sacrifice for some of them to get to the game,” he said.

Celtic fans to gather on Tuesday afternoon.

“We’re all appreciative of everything that our supporters have to go through to get behind us. You could play at 3:30am and you’d get a great atmosphere at Celtic Park.

“Our supporters will roll up, they’ll sing their hearts out and our job is to make sure that we reward them.”

Celtic v Ferencvaros will be broadcast live from 3.30pm on Virgin Media Two.

 

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