Saturday 21 April 2018

PSNI fears over Linfield-Celtic clash


Celtic Manager Brendan Rodgers. Photo: Getty Images
Celtic Manager Brendan Rodgers. Photo: Getty Images
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The PSNI will meet possible Champions League opponents Linfield and Celtic this week to discuss if the first leg of the tie can go ahead in Belfast on the week of July 12 celebrations.

Northern Irish champions Linfield will meet the side managed by Brendan Rodgers (right) in the second qualifying round of the competition if they can get past San Marino outfit La Fiorita at the first hurdle - and they will be favourites to set up what would be a tense affair given the clubs' respective histories.

The timing added another layer to the draw's main talking point with the winners of the Linfield/La Fiorita showdown at home first on July 11 or July 12.

Linfield and Celtic officials met in Switzerland and ruled out the possibility of opting for the July 12 date - given that its the focal point of the marching season.

But they are hopeful of proceeding on July 11 in a Windsor Park tie that would attract Celtic fans from both sides of the border.

However, the PSNI have registered their concern and will meet with the clubs to talk about the security implications of the possible encounter. It is conceivable that the first leg could be switched to Glasgow with UEFA approval.

League of Ireland representatives Dundalk will take on Norwegian champions Rosenborg with the Louth club at home first. July 12 is the provisional date with the return on July 19 in Trondheim.

Irish Independent

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