Linfield v Celtic set to go ahead on July 14th
PSNI rule out tie taking place on July 11th or 12th due to security concerns
The usual Tuesday/Wednesday slot set aside by Uefa for the first-leg clash would have seen Celtic’s large travelling support heading to Windsor Park at the height of the marching season.
Celtic’s potential powder-keg Champions League qualifier with Northern Irish champions Linfield in Belfast has now been pencilled in for July 14th.
Celtic will kick-off their bid to reach the group stage next month and will face the winners of the Blues’ first-round qualifying clash with San Marino minnows La Fiorita.
But the usual Tuesday/Wednesday slot set aside by Uefa for the first-leg clash with Linfield — should they progress — on July 11th or 12th — key dates in annual Orange celebrations — would have seen Celtic’s large travelling support heading to Windsor Park at the height of the marching season, sparking fears of trouble.
Now, however, after talks between the governing body, the clubs and the Police Service of Northern Ireland the game is set to go ahead on Friday the 14th.
Police are understood to have ruled out the match taking place on either the 11th or 12th amid concerns tensions could erupt between the Hoops fans and Linfield’s loyalist support.
A possible solution to the dilemma would have been to switch the ties, with Celtic hosting the opener in Glasgow before crossing the Irish Sea for the return a week later.
But Linfield dismissed that possibility as they look to cash in on the right to host the all-important first leg.