Hibs have revealed they were threatened with “severe consequences” from the SPFL if they refused to play Celtic.
The Easter Road club have announced a request for a further round of Covid-19 testing for the Parkhead squad was also rebuffed.
Thirteen Celtic players and two staff are self isolating following Christopher Jullien‘s positive test.
Top stars such as Odsonne Edouard, Ryan Christie and Kristoffer Ajer are among those in quarantine.
Hibs expressed reservations over the safety of their players but the match is scheduled to go ahead as planned.
“Hibernian FC today reiterated it would do everything possible to ensure it meets its duty of care to all players and staff ahead of tonight’s fixture at Celtic Park.
“The club had asked the SFPL and Celtic to carry out an additional round of ‘on the day’ Covid 19 testing of Celtic players to provide an extra measure of assurance. We regarded this as a reasonable request – given the incubation period of the virus – but, unfortunately, our request was refused. The request followed 16 members of staff and players at Celtic being told to self-isolate on their return from an overseas training camp to Dubai after a positive result for one player, Christopher Julien, who is long-term injured and whom we wish a speedy recovery.
“The SPFL made clear that not fulfilling the fixture would have severe consequences for Hibernian. The club also notes that we are being asked to fulfil this fixture less than two weeks from our Betfred Cup semi-final. We have been assured by the SPFL that any Covid 19 issues that may arise from fulfilling this fixture will be taken into account, and the semi-final postponed if required.”
Hibs sporting director Graeme Mathie also personally expressed his astonishment at the club being placed into an “incredible position”.
He wrote on Twitter: “Not much more to be said than what (is in the statement). An incredible position to be in and 24 hours that will feature heavily in my memoirs when the time comes.”