Celtic fans told to remove pro-Palestine banners

Celtic have ordered a group of supporters to remove flags and banners which were put up at Parkhead in solidarity with Palestine amid ongoing violence in the Middle East.

With unrest between Israel and Palestine continuing on Wednesday, a Celtic fan group had posted images on social media showing Palestine flags and banners on display inside the ground ahead of their penultimate Scottish Premiership game of the season against St Johnstone.

The club have criticised “a small group” of fans for their “unnacceptable” actions after they had originally been permitted into Celtic Park to place banners in support of captain Scott Brown – who is to play his final home game before departing for Aberdeen at the end of the season after 14 years with the Glasgow side.

A statement from Celtic read: “We had invited supporters to pay tribute to our Club captain, Scott Brown, by giving them the opportunity to display their own banners in the stadium.

“Unfortunately a small group, which was given access in good faith, has attempted to exploit this opportunity, taken advantage of an occasion intended for our Club captain, Scott Brown, and used it for a different purpose.

“Clearly this is unacceptable and the display was immediately taken down by the Club.”

Clubs can be subject to fines and disciplinary action from UEFA if players or supporters display political banners or engage in acts of political protest during games.

Pro-Palestine gestures have been staged at Celtic Park in the past, including in 2016 during a Champions League play-off match between the Hoops and Israeli club Hapoel Beer-Sheva.

Celtic supporters groups raised over £130,000 for Palestinian charities in an effort to match a fine which was handed out by UEFA for hanging banners and flags in solidarity with the country.

Two years prior to that, the club was fined more than £15,000 after a Palestinian flag was displayed at a Champions League qualifier against KR Reykjavik.

Meanwhile, Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah has called on world leaders, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to “do everything in their power” to stop the violence and killing of innocent people, amid the continued violence in the Middle East this week.

He wrote on Twitter: “I’m calling on all the world leaders including on the Prime Minister of the country that has been my home for the past 4 years to do everything in their power to make sure the violence and killing of innocent people stops immediately. Enough is enough.”

Source : Sky Sports