Celtic charged over paramilitary-style banners

Flags displayed during qualifier romp over Linfield

Celtic fans display banners during their comprehensive win over Linfield. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Celtic fans display banners during their comprehensive win over Linfield. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

 

Celtic have been hit with Uefa disciplinary action over an alleged “illicit banner” which was displayed during their Champions League victory over Linfield at Parkhead.

Following their 4-0 win on Wednesday night, the club have been hit with three charges on the same day that two earlier cases were being heard by Uefa’s disciplinary body.

A Uefa spokesperson confirmed that “the ‘illicit banner’ charge relates to the banner portraying a person in a paramilitary uniform.”

Celtic also face action over a “kit infringement” and “blocked stairways”.

Members of Celtic’s ‘Green Brigade’ held up flags depicting Brendan Rodgers and a paramilitary-style figure, under the words ‘Brendan’s Undefeated Army.’

Celtic have faced a string of punishments from Uefa in recent years, and they were fined €10,000 after supporters waved Palestinian flags during a Champions League qualifier against Israeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheva last August.

Celtic were fined by Uefa over banners they displayed prior to their Champions Legaue clash with AC Milan in 2013. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty
Celtic were fined by Uefa over banners they displayed prior to their Champions Legaue clash with AC Milan in 2013. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

They were also fined in 2013 for displaying banners depicting William Wallace and IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands before a Champions League clash with AC Milan in 2013.

After the match, manager Rodgers claimed he hadn’t seen the banners, he said: “I didn’t (see it). Fortunately I am one of these guys who just concentrate on the game.”

Celtic won the second-leg of the tie 4-0, cruising through 6-0 on aggregate and setting up a third-round qualifier clash with Norwegian side Rosenborg, who progressed at the expense of League of Ireland champions Dundalk.

The had opted not to take up their away allocation for the first leg at Windsor Park due to fears of serious crowd trouble, with Linfield holding a reputation for being a fiercely-Unionist club.

Uefa are currently investigating both Linfield and Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths after he was pelted with missiles - including a bottle of Buckfast - during the 2-0 victory in Belfast.

Griffiths later tied a Celtic scarf to the goalposts after the match.

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