Boli Bolingoli has woken up this morning as a very unpopular figure in the SPL community. The Belgium defender made the idiotic decision to go away to Spain for one-night last week without informing his club Celtic.
Upon returning from his visit Bolingoli didn’t adhere to the standard 14-day quarantine period everyone must do when returning from abroad.
Instead Bolingoli played in the SPL Champions 1-1 draw away to Kilmarnock last Sunday.
However, since then his trip to Spain has come to light and the backlash has been mighty.
Celtic have said they will take disciplinary action against their left back who singed back in 2019 from Rapid Vienna. Calling his decision “beyond explanation” in a lengthy statement on the matter.
It was the words on Celtic manager Neil Lennon that really showed the clubs frustrations.
Lennon gave his view on the matter and expressed his upmost annoyance. Speaking during a press conference he said “We were absolutely livid, appalled. The club have been at the forefront of maintaining good practice, the protocols all in place, trying to get the game up and running and we have been bitterly and sorely let down by the selfish actions of one individual.”
It’s a real blow to Celtic to hear this news.
The fact one of their own players tried to keep a trip away quiet and try get away with it shows a complete lack of respect. Putting everyone he works with daily and their families at risk. All for a lousy night away in Spain.
This would be bad enough for anyone to do. But for someone who is in a well-known position and meant to be a role model makes this story even more disgraceful.
It’s believed that when the story broke Bolingoli came clean and apologised. By then the damage was already done.
Bolingoli isn’t the first footballer to break significate Covid-19 guidelines.
Not The Only One
Big names like Jack Grealish and Kyle Walker have done so in the past few months one way or another.
While this certainly isn’t an excuse for the stupid behaviour of Bolingoli. It does show that we may not be dealing with the sharpest tools in the box when it comes to our high paid footballer friends.
Bolingoli isn’t even the first SPL player to hit the headlines for breaking protocols in recent weeks. Eight Aberdeen players went to bar in Aberdeen after losing their opening game to Rangers at the start of the month. This came during a time when Aberdeen was under a local lockdown.
Aberdeen’s most recent game was even called off due to two of their players testing positive for the virus.
Fellow Celtic star Leigh Griffiths had to be talked to after hosting a birthday party for his girlfriend over the weekend.
All very frustrating for everyone that is following guidelines correctly. Other clubs are trying to survive and get back playing but are being badly let down by their counterparts.
The government have even stepped in with a warning. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that any further breaches of protocol could see the season being suspended.
The Scottish police have even given Bolingoli a fixed penalty notice for breaching Scottish government quarantine regulations.
Despite all of this you would imagine the most making up Bolingoli will have to do will be at Celtic.
As we said both the club and manager have released lengthy statements outlining their frustration with the players. The player has put his club in a bad light forcing them to apologise for a decision that he made as a grown man.
Bolingoli must also understand he let the fans down. The reaction online from the Celtic faithful has been somewhat refreshing. It’s easy to be bias when one of your own negatively hits the headlines. In fairness Celtic fans have been rightfully disgusted with him.
Most have even said they don’t want him to wear the jersey again. His complete lack of respect for his teammates is clear by this act. He put a lot of people at risk and showed that he doesn’t care about anyone at Celtic.
They should wash their hands with him. It will be a strong stance by the club but will hopefully set a precedent going forward. We can’t keep letting players get away with it they’ll never learn. Serious action needs to happen it doesn’t matter who the player is.
Where Does This Leave Celtic?
Now thanks to this Celtic’s next two games have been postponed. Their weekend tie with St Mirren is off. Along with their upcoming clash with fellow rule breakers Aberdeen.
St Mirren are the ones losing out in this situation. With some even suggesting the game should be giving as a walkover and the three points awarded to St Mirren. This is more of a controversial view as you could argue that it would be unfair to punish the club over the unknown actions of one player.
Some feel the club is part to blame. Celtic did give their players two days off after their opening game. This was the Monday and Tuesday Bolingoli took the trip to Spain. Returning to training on the Wednesday with nobody none the wiser.
While that is a baffling decision by Celtic it might be a bit to harsh to punish the club. But it would be a tragedy to see Boli Bolingoli get off lightly with this one.
While you hate to see anyone lose a job in any climate sometimes harsh punishments bring the best lessons.
Celtic return to action next weekend in their Champions League qualification game against Iceland side KR Reykjavik. However, it remains to be seen if UEFA will have something to say about that. If they are kicked out of the Champions League Bolingoli will be a wanted man in Glasgow.
Celtic will return to league action on the 22nd of August away to Dundee United. The pressure will be on straight away as Rangers could be well out in front by then. Another headache for Neil Lennon as he looks to guide his team to their tenth consecutive title.