Celtic drawn to face Linfield or La Fiorita in Champions League qualifying

Linfield took on Cork City in last season's Europa League. They're in the Champions League draw this time around

THERE have been calls for the venue of a potential match between Celtic and Linfield over the Twelfth to be switched due to concerns about security.

The 11/12 July date is problematic as it coincides with the "Twelfth" marches in Northern Ireland and an alternative arrangement is likely to be sought.

"We've also had a chat with UEFA and we had ruled out July 12 for obvious reasons, purely from a practical point of view".

But the marksman says it's important to focus on the job in hand against the champions of San Marino and not get distracted by the possible mouth-watering clash with Brendan Rodgers' side. For financial reasons that's obviously the best thing for us.

PSNI Operations Superintendent for Belfast Norman Haslett said last night: "We are aware of the possibility of a Belfast fixture next month between Linfield and Celtic".

"It really is a terrific draw".

"It would be worth a lot of money and it would be two massive games for a lot of players but if we go into the game against La Fiorita with that mentality you could end up with egg on your face before getting anywhere near Celtic".

Linfield, managed by David Healy, the former Rangers striker, would provide awkward opposition for Celtic...

The Hoops were drawn against the NIFL Premiership champions or S.P. La Fiorita from San Marino.

Elsewhere, in the Europa League draw, League of Ireland high flyers Cork City face a trip to Estonia as they seek to secure a place in the group stages.

News of Celtic's draw broke yesterday just as the club's new signing Jonny Hayes was being presented to the media.

"The only time I've played at Windsor Park was with a young Irish team in the Foyle Cup when I was about 15".

Uefa did not respond to an inquiry regarding the timing of the game but they would be unlikely to disregard the views of the local police force if the PSNI took a firm view that the Belfast leg should not go ahead as scheduled.