(K. Brent Tomer),
NO ONE would confuse the match scheduled for September 10th between Celtic and Rangers (pictured, in 2014) in Glasgow for top-flight, world-class football. The two sides currently sit at 48th and 97th in Football Database’s global club rankings, adjacent to Schalke 04 of Germany and Olimpia of Paraguay. Nonetheless, some 60,000 people are expected to cram into Celtic Park to witness the 402nd “Old Firm” derby between these bitter rivals.
To be sure, the fixture is highly significant within the rather narrow frame of Scottish football. The two clubs together have won a combined 101 of the 120 titles in the country’s history, and currently sit first and second in the Scottish Premier League once again. Yet the reason the eyes of much of the broader football world will focus on Glasgow this weekend goes far beyond the battle for this modest sporting title. Instead, it has to do with the sectarian rivalry that has been simmering for four years since the clubs last faced off in 2012, and whether partisans on either side of the city’s cultural and ethnic divide will…Continue reading