Brendan Rodgers has urged his former club Celtic to give Rangers players a guard of honour this weekend in the Old Firm derby, if the game does go ahead.
Celtic are due to host Rangers on Sunday afternoon, although there remain doubts over whether it will go ahead after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon raised safety concerns.
Sturgeon condemned the behaviour of Rangers fans as they celebrated their Scottish Premiership title with little regard for coronavirus restrictions and has demanded assurances from both clubs that there will be no similar scenes on Sunday.
If the game does go ahead, Celtic are expected to give their rivals a guard of honour for their title success, although former Hoops striker John Hartson has called on them not to do so.
However, Rodgers disagrees with the former Wales forward, urging Celtic to make the gesture.
‘I can never forget when I was at Chelsea as a young coach and in that first season with Jose [Mourinho] they won the title,’ Rodgers told Sky Sports.
‘I remember going to Old Trafford to watch the game that evening and I’m sure that the Man United players didn’t want to do it [a guard of honour].
‘That must have been really, really difficult but it showed you the class of Sir Alex [Ferguson] and showed you the humility of him.
‘It was sporting but can also provide you with great motivation going forward. It’s something that for me – despite the rivalry, despite how difficult it is – you should do and then use it as motivation.’
Sturgeon would not confirm whether the match would go ahead, during her daily coronavirus media briefing in Edinburgh on Monday, though, saying a decision is yet to be made.
‘No final decision has been made yet. I welcome the statements made by both Rangers and Celtic,’ she said. ‘Of course it was Rangers fans who were gathering a week ago.
‘I hope the clubs will continue that over the next couple of days. It can’t just be one statement and then it’s done. As we know, from our experience of the last year, these communications are really important on an ongoing basis.
‘I spoke to the chief constable last week about his views on what might transpire if the Old Firm match goes ahead. The Justice Secretary has been in contact with the police and we will be in further contact with the police as this week goes on.
‘On the basis of all of that we will have to make a judgement.
‘I never want to stand here and say ‘football matches can’t go ahead’ or any of the other things we enjoy in life can’t go ahead, but that’s the reality while we’re still in this position.
‘Big gatherings presents a risk of transmission and we’re trying to get that as low as possible so that we can open up all of the things that we enjoy doing.’