Gretna's players rule out mass strike for Celtic match

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The Independent Online

Gretna's players will decide on an individual basis whether to play against Celtic in this weekend's Scottish Premier League game. Reports suggested players had considered strike action en masse, which would have plunged the ailing club further into crisis, but they have decided against such measures.

However, uncertainty still remains over Gretna's ability to raise a team for Sunday's game, after some players decided not to play in last Saturday's match against Aberdeen once the club went into administration. Adding to the frustration has been Fifa's delay in responding to the Scottish Football Association's request to give Gretna's players dispensation to move club beyond March, if their contracts continue to be breached.

Scottish Professional Footballers' Association secretary, Fraser Wishart, said: "It's down to the individual whether to play or not. The players are disillusioned. They are being asked to put themselves on the line without any assurances."

l Athletic Bilbao were awarded a 2-1 victory and Real Betis were given a two-match stadium ban after Saturday's match at the Manuel Ruiz de Lopera stadium was abandoned after Bilbao goalkeeper Armando was hit in the face by a bottle thrown from the stands. Bilbao were winning 2-1 at the time.

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