UEFA have today issued three charges against Celtic following last night’s 4-0 win over Linfield in the second leg of the second round of Champions Lesgue Qualifiers.
While two of the charges may be surprising, concerning a blocked stairway and an apparent kit violation, the third charge will surprise no-one.
This relates to what UEFA term an illicit banner and has been the subject of much media attention today.
Last week in Northern Ireland Celtic supporters watched as the community in which last night’s opponents draw their support burned Celtic strips and racially abused Scott Sinclair before setting this alight in hate insisted bonfires.
UEFA of course are partly to blame as are Celtic. Both should have flagged up the potential for conflict between supporters of the two clubs and UEFA make provision for keeping certain conflict areas in Europe apart.
Indeed before drawing Celtic to play Linfield or the San Marino team, the UEFA officials took a ten minute break explaining that this was to avoid teams from areas of conflict being drawn together.
Celtic acted too late but in acting at all – by refusing tickets for the away fixture which had to be moved from the official UEFA dates to accommodate Orange Walks – the club all but admitted that they regarded this clash as have a side issue that was worth a date Change and a ticket ban.
Celtic should have spoken BEFORE the draw was made.
That the Celtic fans reacted last night was no surprise to anyone. While many fingers will be pointed at the Green Brigade others might say to Celtic and to UEFA ‘we’ll, what did you expect to happen?
These teams should be prevented from meeting again.
But if the Green Brigade are on the naughty step after last night the bad news for the Bhoys in the standing section is that despite their best efforts the went down to a 2-1 defeat to the boardroom bad-asses who equalised by blocking a stairway ( not clever) and snatched a win by placing some sponsors logos on the warm up bibs. Shocking stuff!
Here is what UEFA have stated today.
Disciplinary proceedings have been opened following the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round second leg match between Celtic FC and Linfield FC (4-0), played on 19 July in Scotland.
Charges against Celtic FC:
• Illicit banner – Art. 16 (2) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations
• Kit infringement – Art. 62 (3) of UEFA Kit Regulations
• Stairways blocked – Art. 38 of UEFA Safety & Security Regulations
This case will be dealt with by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body on 28 July 2017.