Ofir Marciano will play his final match for Hibs this weekend against Celtic and manager Jack Ross believes it will be a day of emotion for the Israeli.
The goalkeeper has confirmed he will leave the Easter Road club in the summer, having initially joined in 2016. He has been linked with Celtic and a return to Israel with Hapoel Be’er Sheva but his next destination is unknown as of yet.
Marciano will take to the Easter Road turf for the last time against Celtic tomorrow and Ross has paid tribute: “Ofir has decided that he won’t renew his contract here and will move on to a fresh challenge. In making that definitive decision, it will be an emotional day.
“Especially with what Ofir has contributed to the club, the length of time he has been here, I think he has also spoken from a family perspective of how big part of his life living in Scotland is. He’ll look forward to that and we have to try and give him a fitting farewell by winning the match.
“As always with the last game of the season, it’s significant to people for a number of reasons, particularly for those who’s time at a club is coming to an end. Ofir missed out late on Wednesday (against Aberdeen) because of some family issues. But that has been resolved and he’s back in the squad for tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Ross has been left baffled by the news fans will be limited to 600 for the Scottish Cup final between Hibs and St Johnstone. The SFA applied for 2,000 tickets at the ground which will host 12,000 during Euro 2020 action next month. 60 of the 300 allocated Hibs tickets will go to players’ families and staff.
Ross explained: “There’s been a lot of things over the last year and a half I’ve understood, but others I’ve struggled to get my head around. And I can’t quite understand this decision.
“I’m sure, as always happens, that people will come out in the aftermath of anyone complaining and point out why they’re right and we’re wrong. But I do find it baffling to be honest. We should never underestimate the significance this game plays in a lot of people’s lives in Scotland.
“So I do think it’s a little bit peculiar that we’ve only let this amount of fans into the ground. It would be nice to have a clear explanation. I know there has been reasons offered for it. I think for normal people – those who aren’t blessed with scientific knowledge or information – it’s quite a difficult thing to comprehend.
“One of the reasons given was about need for the two-metre distancing outside. Now I may be mistaken – and if I am I apologise – but I think from Monday’s it’s a metre distancing required for indoor hospitality. Yet it’s two-metre distancing outside for the final. I’m a layman when it comes to science but I don’t quite get that.
“It’s a shame, especially when you see that not that far away in the same country, because we are part of the UK, there is an awful lot more going to be at another cup final. In the not too distant future, there’s going to be a lot more people than 600 inside the same stadium. So I just find it difficult to comprehend. I feel It’s a missed opportunity.”
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