Celtic charged by UEFA over offensive banner


Celtic are back in trouble with UEFA after European football’s governing body charged the Scottish club over their fans’ behaviour during a Europa League game against Udinese. UEFA on Monday confirmed they had opened disciplinary proceedings against Celtic for the second time in two months after supporters of the Glasgow club displayed a banner of an offensive nature and set off fireworks at Stadio Friuli last Thursday. A section of Celtic’s travelling support in Italy held aloft a two-part banner which insulted UEFA, days after the club were fined about £12,700 for “illicit chanting” involving pro-IRA songs at a Europa League game against Rennes at Celtic Park. Several flares were also let off and one was thrown on to the pitch-side track as Celtic crashed out of the tournament following the 1-1 draw against Udinese. Celtic had tried to head off disciplinary action by giving a life ban to one fan, believed to be involved in displaying the banner, who was arrested in Italy over the alleged assault of a club steward.
The club also vowed to sift through photographic evidence to find those fans responsible for the use of the flares, while Hoops manager Neil Lennon and chief executive Peter Lawwell hit out at the “rogue” element within their support. Lawwell said: “We will weed them out. It’s one or two silly little juvenile boys doing funny kids’ pranks and stuff and it is bringing the whole of Scottish football down.”
Lennon added: “My only surprise is that they got the spelling on the banner right. “I am very disappointed, they have let me down and they have let down the board, the players and 99.9 percent of the support.” The case will be heard by the UEFA’s control and disciplinary body on January 26.