Partial stadium closure on cards
CELTIC could be forced to play future Champions League home ties in a partially-closed Parkhead after a supporter invaded the pitch and attempted to kick Kylian Mbappe during the 5-0 home loss to Paris Saint-Germain.
Uefa confirmed yesterday that it had opened disciplinary proceedings against the club over the incident where a fan raced from behind a goal to confront Mbappe during the second half of Tuesday night’s encounter.
The Parkhead side have been charged with a count of “field invasion” and will have their case heard by the Uefa control, ethics and disciplinary body on 19 October, a statement from the European governing body said.
While the incident looked bad in isolation, even more worrying for Celtic is the fact it is only the latest in a series of such episodes. Over the last six years, there have been 12 offences that have cost the club more than £160,000.
The last came as recently as July, when Celtic were charged £20,600 after an “illicit banner” was displayed during their qualifying win over Linfield at Celtic Park.
This led to the club announcing a two-game closure of the area of the stadium generally occupied by the Green Brigade supporters’ group.
While Celtic escaped with a £25,000 fine when a supporter entered the field of play to confront AC Milan keeper Dida in 2007, Linfield were not dealt with so leniently over their first leg against the Scottish champions.
In addition to a fine of £8,950, the Belfast side were ordered to play their next Uefa match in a partially-closed Windsor Park after trouble which included missiles being thrown and a fan invading the pitch in an attempt to confront Leigh Griffiths.
A 21-year-old Celtic fan from Belfast called John Hatton yesterday admitted assaulting Mbappe by attempting to kick him, and also pleaded guilty to behaviour likely to incite public disorder. He was granted bail and sentence was deferred until 11 October for background reports.