Celtic coach clears up confusion around why Shane Duffy was able to play against Hibs

shane duffy

The Ireland defender left Celtic’s ‘bubble’ early and was expected to miss the game.

Shane Duffy was a surprise inclusion in Celtic’s starting lineup for the Scottish Premiership match against Hibernian on Monday night.

Celtic were missing 13 first-team players, as well as manager Neil Lennon and assistant John Kennedy, for the game at Parkhead after a positive Covid-19 test within the squad.

Defender Christopher Julien tested positive for the virus following the team’s training camp in Dubai. The 13 first-team players, and members of the Celtic coaching staff, were deemed close contacts and therefore had to go into insolation and miss the game.


Duffy was expected to miss the Hibs match. Celtic assistant coach Kennedy ruled him out of contention a few days ago after the Ireland defender left the Dubai training camp, and the Celtic ‘bubble’ early.

“Shane had a couple of personal things that he had to leave Dubai for, so we sent him back on that basis,” Kennedy said.

“Following protocols, he’ll miss the weekend’s game because he’s left the bubble.”

Duffy’s inclusion in the starting XI on Monday night left some Celtic supporters confused, as he wasn’t expected to be involved.

Why Duffy was able to play.

Celtic coach Gavin Strachan, who took charge of the game, cleared up the situation ahead of kick-off, explaining that Duffy had tested negative for Covid-19 and was therefore clear to play.

“He comes back in on the back of a negative test. He’s back and ready to go,” Strachan said.

As he left Celtic’s training camp early, Duffy ended up being able to play in the game as he was not a close contact and tested negative for Covid-19 before re-entering the Celtic ‘bubble.’

The much-depleted Celtic side went on to draw the game 1-1, a result which leaves them 21 points behind Rangers with three games in hand.

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