Paramil­i­tary-style banner draws UEFA’s ire

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

NYON, SWITZER­LAND — UEFA opened a sec­ond wave of charges against Celtic af­ter fans raised a paramil­i­tary-style banner at a Cham­pi­ons League game.

UEFA said Thurs­day a dis­ci­plinary case re­lat­ing to an “il­licit banner” will be judged on July 28, ahead of an­nounc­ing ver­dicts from the Scot­tish cham­pion’s pre­vi­ous game against Lin­field of North­ern Ire­land.

The banner show­ing a masked sol­dier iden­ti­fied with Ir­ish Repub­li­can im­agery was shown by fans on Wed­nes­day dur­ing Celtic’s 4-0 win in Glas­gow in a Cham­pi­ons League sec­ond qual­i­fy­ing round, sec­ond­leg game.

UEFA also an­nounced charges against the Scot­tish cham­pion for play­ers wear­ing un­reg­u­lated bibs in the pre-game warm-up and a crowd con­trol is­sue.

Also Thurs­day, the UEFA dis­ci­plinary panel was judg­ing charges against both clubs aris­ing from the first leg last week.

Celtic had de­feated Lin­field in Belfast and ad­vanced 6-0 on ag­gre­gate.

UEFA im­posed a one-match ban on Celtic for­ward Leigh Grif­fiths for “pro­vok­ing spec­ta­tors” af­ter the game in Belfast, dur­ing which he was a tar­get for bot­tle-throw­ing home fans.

Af­ter Celtic’s win last Fri­day at Wind­sor Park, North­ern Ire­land’s na­tional sta­dium, Grif­fiths took a scarf in Celtic’s green and white colours and tied it to a goal­post.

Lin­field plays in the same blue and white as Celtic’s city ri­val Rangers. Grif­fiths had been shown a yel­low card for time-wast­ing in the sec­ond half of the game.

The Scot­land for­ward de­layed tak­ing a cor­ner to show the ref­eree some mis­siles that nar­rowly missed him, in­clud­ing a glass bot­tle and sev­eral coins.

The first game in Belfast was moved back to Fri­day to avoid pos­si­ble re­li­gious ten­sions with July 12 events in North­ern Ire­land com­mem­o­rat­ing a his­toric bat­tle be­tween Protes­tant and Catholic forces.

Celtic has long ties with the Catholic com­mu­nity, and Lin­field tra­di­tion­ally draws sup­port from the Protes­tant com­mu­nity.

Grif­fiths will serve his ban when Celtic hosts Rosen­borg in a Cham­pi­ons League third qual­i­fy­ing round, first-leg game next Wed­nes­day.

UEFA or­dered Lin­field to close a sec­tion of the sta­dium when it plays its next home game in the Cham­pi­ons League or Europa League, and fined the club 10,000 eu­ros ($11,600 US).

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