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ICC chief dreams of hosting Old Firm derby at Wembley

The organiser of the International Champions Cup has outlined his desire to add rivals Celtic and Rangers to the competition in an Old Firm derby hosted by Wembley Stadium.

Celtic and Rangers met for just the second time since the latter’s financial woes and demotion through Scottish football’s leagues in the Scottish Cup semi-final this month – the Ibrox club beating their great rivals after a penalty shootout.

Mark Warburton’s side have wrapped up the Championship title in Scotland, ensuring their top-flight return for next season as well as the prospect of playing a first league derby since 2012.

The Champions Cup pits Europe’s biggest sides against each other in pre-season fixtures staged across the world and organiser Charlie Stillitano believes the addition of Scotland’s big two would prove a hit.

“An Old Firm game at London would be amazing,” Stillitano said. 

“I’m not sure what the authorities would think, but Wembley is used to hosting big games all the time. I think Wembley would be perfect for it. Celtic v Rangers would fill out Wembley, 100 per cent. That would be wonderful.

“It would be fantastic and having it at Wembley would be spectacular. I think it would be a personal goal of mine to do that.

“Would we like them both to be involved in the ICC? Of course, we would. We would love to stage a Celtic v Rangers game. If we can put on a Manchester derby in Beijing, we can put on a Glasgow derby. 

“We have had conversations with Peter Lawwell at Celtic and Martin Bain when he was at Rangers in the past about the topic. The fans would love it in the US or Australia – places where there are lots of fans with Scottish heritage. They would absolutely love it.

“In America, the Rangers and Celtic rivalry is more friendly than it is back in Scotland. Could a Rangers v Celtic match sell out a huge US stadium like the Met Life with 80,000 fans? 

“I don’t know, but I’d sure love to find out and I don’t think the safety issues would be insurmountable.”

Wed 27 Apr, 2016
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