How will COP26 impact Celtic and Rangers fixtures?

COP26 has already had an impact on the football calendar.

As COP26 draws closer, 30,000 delegates from across the world will descend on Glasgow as the city prepares to host a climate conference.

The Queen, current United States of America president Joe Biden, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and former US president Barack Obama are among the high-profile figures that will be in attendance.

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While it’s an exciting milestone for the city, it will also cause a lot of disruption due to the scale of the event, with 10,000 police officers set to be deployed across the city each day.

There are already various road closures in place across Glasgow and for football supporters, there are some significant changes to Celtic and Rangers’ fixtures due to COP26.

Here, Glasgow World provides all you need to know about the effects of COP26 on the football calendar:

When is COP26?

COP26 will run from Sunday October 31 to Friday November 12 in Glasgow. The aim off the meeting is to speed up the process of reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change.

It was originally due to take place last year but was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the Europa League games starting in last month and continuing on into the new year, some changes have been made to original football schedule.

How COP26 will impact Celtic and Rangers fixtures?

Police Scotland confirmed they would be unable to facilitate two major fixtures at both Parkhead and Ibrox Stadium on the same day during COP26.

As a result, Celtic’s Europa League match against Ferencvaros has been moved forward to Tuesday afternoon with an earlier than usual kick-off time at 3.30pm. This is due to UEFA regulations that state the kick-off time cannot clash with current TV rights

The game was originally due to take place on Matchday four of the Europa League schedule.

A statement released by Celtic stated: "In an attempt to avoid this change we have been in extensive discussions with all relevant authorities, exhausting all avenues to try and establish a better solution for the club and our supporters, however none of these other options have been successful, due to either UEFA considerations, policing requirements or domestic fixture scheduling.

"Clearly this is an unfortunate and unique set of circumstances driven by COP26. We fully understand the frustrations of our supporters. We can assure our fans that we have made significant representation at the highest levels to try and avoid this eventuality."

Celtic have also confirmed this match will mark the introduction of the Coronavirus Vaccine Passport scheme with supporters encouraged to bring a printed or digital version of their proof of vaccination status.

Last month, GlasgowWorld reported from outside Ibrox Stadium to get the thoughts of fans on the scheme which will affect supporters attending matches with a crowd of over 10,000.

Rangers are due to play Danish side Brondby IF on Thursday October 21, with an 8pm kick-off time in place.

The Light Blues are also offering flexible re-ticketing options to ensure fans are not left with tickets that they can no longer use. Supporters will be spoken to directly with more information on how the changes may affect their tickets.

Season ticket holders will have the option to buy a three-match package, which have been frozen at 2018/19 prices, or gain priority access to single match tickets.