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Celtic could face further UEFA sanctions after fans group unfurls banner

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[media-credit name=”© Getty Images” align=”aligncenter” width=”660″][/media-credit]On top of that a number of flares were set off inside the stadium within the away support, with one being thrown onto the track around the pitch.

If either incident is included in reports from Greek referee Michael Koukoulakis or the match delegate from Denmark Steen Dahrup then UEFA could take action against the Parkhead side and impose further sanctions on top of the 15,000 euro fine imposed earlier this week.

A UEFA spokesman said: “We expect to receive reports from the referee and the match official today or tomorrow at the latest. Based on what is in the official reports, we will decide if there is to be any investigation.”

However according to STV Sport, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell ‘has confirmed the match delegate at the tie has included information on the throwing of flares and an offensive banner in his report’.

Lawwell added that ‘the club would take internal measures against supporters’.

STV Sport have quoted Article 11 of UEFA’s Disciplinary Regulations which states, clubs can be punished if their supporters ‘light fireworks or any other objects’. The same rule also warns measures will be taken if fans behave inappropriately through ‘the use of gestures, words, objects or any other means to transmit any message that is not fit for a sports event, in particular if it is of a political, offensive or provocative nature’.

The group responsible, the Green Brigade, have a history of stoking the flames between the Parkhead club and football’s governing bodies particularly domestically with the SPL and the SFA. Their infamous poppy day protest caused widespread criticism from all quarters and this latest stunt by its members could be the final straw for the club who gave the group a section within Celtic Park to be designated as a singing section.

Peter Lawwell continued: “These people are not Celtic supporters and we will weed them out. We are embarrassed.”

He added that the actions of some supporters ‘overshadowed a fantastic performance’ in Italy, adding that ‘we have to get these people out of Celtic Park’.

New Celtic chairman Ian Bankier, who replaced Dr John Reid in October, branded those behind the banner as ‘one or two silly, little, juvenile boys’.

He told STV Sport: “Both [events]are unacceptable in our eyes, completely unacceptable. We have to drive this out of the club. It’s not only doing us harm but Scottish football is harmed.

“It’s one or two silly, juvenile boys doing funny, kid pranks and it’s bringing the whole of Scottish football down. It’s overtaking what was a fantastic performance.

“We’ll weed them out. We know this guy and we’ve got him. There were arrests made last night and these guys will not get back into Celtic Park.

“We will just keep on that road until we have weeded them all out. We’re talking to the supporters organisations about what they can do for the people in the travelling crowd to self-police, the way the Tartan Army do.

“We are looking to take every measure we can take. This has to stop.”

He added: “It is embarrassing and it is doubly disappointing on the heels of a fine over something which was, in the scheme of things, not a major, major fault.”

“Nonetheless, it was a technical offence in UEFA’s eyes and we took the rap and took the fine. For this to come on the back of it is unacceptable.

“The plea I would make to the media is to try and get it all in proportion and take the positives out of last night’s performance.

“We put on a great show last night, up against serious opposition, but the headline becomes what a couple of kids may have done.”

One member of the Green Brigade posted on the group’s official website stated: “Comments like that from Lawwell are only going to turn more of the support against him. It seems to me like his opinion is that anyone that goes against the grain is not a celtic fan, we should all just buy our overpriced tickets & club merchandise and not question whether or not there is a better alternative.”

There were other comments posted but none that can be broadcast due to the explicit language used directly at both Bankier and Lawwell.

Another comment from a Green Brigade member called on fellow members to get “Lawwell out now. Demos, banners, songs whatever and at every game home and away.”

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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