Linfield v Celtic kick-off time confirmed

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers and Linfield manager David Healy. The two teams could meet each in round two of Champions League qualifying
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers and Linfield manager David Healy. The two teams could meet each in round two of Champions League qualifying

Linfield’s has confirmed its potential Champions League qualifier first leg with with Celtic will take place in Belfast on Friday, July 14.

The Windsor Park clash will kick-off at 5pm, with the potential second leg to be held in Glasgow will be on Wednesday, July 19.

The traditional Tuesday and Wednesday slots had to be changed amid security concerns, as the first leg would have coincided with July 11, bringing Celtic fans to Belfast around the same time as many hundreds of Orange Order and loyalist band members travel from Scotland for the Twelfth demonstrations.

The new date had been agreed by the clubs and approved by the PSNI.

Before they face Celtic however, Irish League champions Linfield must first defeat La Fiorita of San Marino in a first-round clash in Belfast on 28 June, with the return leg on July 4.

No further details about arrangements for the potential Celtic game will be announced until after the conclusion of the first round qualifying ties, a statement from Linfield said.

Linfield chairman Roy McGivern commented: “I am pleased that agreement has now been reached for us to stage a potential Champions League first leg tie against Celtic FC at Windsor Park on Friday, July 14.

“I would like to thank all of those involved for their efforts in resolving what was a difficult situation and we can now concentrate fully on our forthcoming games against FC Fiorita from San Marino.”

PSNI Operations Superintendent for Belfast, Norman Haslett said: “Police have been in close contact with representatives from both Linfield and Celtic Football Clubs due to the possibility of a Belfast fixture between the two clubs in July. Public safety concerns surrounding the fixture and the impact on the greater Belfast area over the Twelfth period have featured strongly in our considerations and discussions. I can confirm that all parties have now reached agreement on the arrangements for the match, should it proceed.

“I am hopeful that the game will pass off without incident and that the City of Belfast can be showcased as a great venue for European football.”