Soccer

Celtic manager Neil Lennon condemns ‘absolute hypocrisy’ of criticism towards Dubai training trip


Neil Lennon has confirmed another Celtic player has tested positive for Covid-19 as he angrily hit back at criticism of the club’s controversial trip to Dubai.

The Celtic boss missed the 1-1 draw against Hibernian and the goalless draw with Livingston at Parkhead as he was self-isolating following the mid-season training camp.

Lennon, assistant John Kennedy and 13 players had to isolate after Christopher Jullien tested positive for coronavirus and chief executive Peter Lawwell admitted the trip was “a mistake” and apologised to Hoops fans.

Ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Livingston, Lennon responded to a question about his time self-isolating by saying: “It has been interesting watching the fall-outs, the media and the attacks on the club.”

He then said: “Another player has been deemed positive, it is someone who is self-isolating.

“Everyone is negative bar two players.

“I think that is remarkable and blows out the water the way the trip has been portrayed in certain quarters of the media, by certain pundits and by certain government officials as well.

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“We didn’t abuse any ‘privilege’, we did the right things, we were totally professional.

“We had a little drink in the afternoon on the day of, completely allowed, no law breaking.

“But we come back to this barrage of absolute hypocrisy.”

Lennon also addressed comments made by former Celtic striker Andy Walker who, speaking in his role as a pundit for Sky Sports, criticised the club for “dismal governance” over the trip, which he labelled “a jolly”.

He said: “You can’t go on a public platform and spread lies and insults about my professionalism, my players’ professionalism.

“About 70-80 per cent of the group are teetotal and you know the inference and innuendo that he is making. It is not a stag do, it isn’t an ’18-30′ even though it has been portrayed like that.

“We went out there with the best intentions.

“The lads had one day off and they are entitled to a bit of down time.”

PA

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