Standing with Kyogo

Celtic forward Kyogo Furuhashi

It wasn't immediately alarming this morning when checking my Twitter feed that 'Kyogo' was trending, especially considering the start that the former Vissel Kobe forward, has made to his Celtic career.

When I realised the reason why however - I suspect as many others did - I felt a mixture of anger, disappointment and shame towards those involved.

For me, this is not a Celtic, Rangers issue. This is societal issue where football acts as the vehicle for braindead Neanderthals to act in a way, that most depressingly, they think is appropriate.

Yes, Kyogo Furuhashi is a Celtic player and yes, those involved in the footage are fans on a Rangers supporters bus, but those are not the details that I feel most strongly about.

Kyogo is a 26-year-old man living abroad for the first time; adjusting to life in a new country, a new city, a vastly different culture to his own and learning a new language. And on the face of it up until now, he has taken this all in his stride.

We have seen footage of him smiling and cracking jokes in interviews via his translator, politely accepting the applause of the Celtic fans as he was named MOTM and even playing hide-and-seek with the camera crew in training sessions.

This morning, someone is going to have to explain to him why his name is plastered over the front and back of the papers. That fact is utterly disheartening.

Furuhashi is one of the good guys and whilst that has no implication on the impact of deplorable behaviour directed towards him, Celtic will need to provide him with their full support that they alluded to in their official statement, involving the police where appropriate:

What makes this situation slightly more sensitive is the fixture at Rangers next weekend, where Celtic fans have been denied their ticket allocation.

I've seen a few comments about the chance for Furuhashi to silence the home support on the pitch this Sunday, but scoring a hat-trick at Ibrox is not part of the solution to the source of this problem.

Like I said before, this is not a footballing issue that can be easily resolved by three points or taking home the match ball, in some cases it may even exacerbate it.

One thing that Furuhashi will realise now more than ever, is the support he has from the Celtic family and each and every one of the people that make Scotland, on its day, one of the most welcoming nations in the world.

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