St Johnstone lift ban on flags and banners for Celtic game
Move was put in place in bid to stop pyrotechnics entering ground
Celtic fans throw flares on to the pitch before the Scottish Premiership match at Fir Park, Motherwell. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA
St Johnstone have announced that the ban on flags and banners at their St Stephen’s Day clash with Celtic has been lifted.
Celtic prematurely made the same announcement on Monday following a major misunderstanding after the ban was announced 24 hours earlier, but the Perth club have now confirmed that police have allowed a relaxation for the McDiarmid Park encounter.
A statement from St Johnstone read: “Further discussion has today taken place between all parties and a request from the clubs made to Police Scotland that the ban be lifted has been accepted.
“Safety remains of paramount importance to both clubs and the match will be managed with this in mind and with Police Scotland having reviewed this policy, the two clubs are now putting their faith in all supporters that they shall support their respective teams in a manner which befits what should be a great game of football on a special date in the football calendar.”
The ban was initially imposed in a bid to prevent fans using flags to hide the use of pyrotechnics.
Celtic admitted they had jumped the gun with their statement on Monday but they welcomed the confirmation of the decision.
In a statement, the club said: “For clarity, Celtic Football Club has received confirmation that flags and banners will now be permitted at the match against St Johnstone on Boxing Day.
“Last week, Celtic Football Club noted the advice given by local police regarding safety, flags and banners at the match.
“We acknowledge we had not received final confirmation yesterday in terms of a change. However, we are pleased, following consultation and discussion over the past couple of days, that the initial decision has been reviewed by the police and St Johnstone FC.”
Police Scotland’s press office was unable to provide confirmation immediately after the clubs announced the decision.