Uefa to rule on 'Bobby Sands' banner

Published Wednesday, 11 December 2013
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Celtic have been told they will have to wait another two days to find out what action Uefa will take against the club after a controversial Bobby Sands banner was unfurled during a Champions League game.

Uefa to rule on 'Bobby Sands' banner
Uefa are investigating the display. (© Getty)

During the club's tie with AC Millan, supporters displayed banners with images of IRA hunger striker Sands and Scottish nationalist icon William Wallace along with a set of lyrics that included the line: 'The terrorist or the dreamer?'

Uefa rules prohibit messages of a political and ideological nature being displayed in a stadium.

However, the supporters' group responsible for the banners insisted they were football-related as they were designed to protest against the Scottish Government's Offensive Behaviour at Football Act and Police Scotland's implementation of the legislation, which they claim has criminalised expressions of Irish politics.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell, however, demanded supporters leave their political views at home and said the action "disrespected" the club.

And manager Neil Lennon admitted his "heart sank" when he saw the display, arguing it was "not the time nor place for such a demonstration".

Uefa's control and disciplinary body was due to meet on Wednesday after the governing body opened disciplinary proceedings over the "illicit" banners, but the meeting was put back to Friday while the committee works through a backlog of cases.

A spokesman from the Uefa media department said: "The disciplinary decision is due to be announced and communicated by Uefa on Friday afternoon.

"We will inform of the decision as soon as we receive it from our disciplinary unit."

In a separate matter, Celtic issued "precautionary suspensions" against 128 individuals after trouble broke out at Motherwell's home ground during a recent match.

Police said smoke bombs, fireworks and a flare were thrown during the match and damage was caused to a section of seating.

As well as the suspensions, the club has also said it is to relocate a section of supporters, or issues season ticket refunds.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Chris in Belfast wrote (130 days ago):
Time UEFA grew a backbone to these political so called football supporters. No need for banners like this is any sporting event. They need to wise up.
Sam1690 in Ballysillan wrote (131 days ago):
Not the brightest bunch. If it is a protest against the government, it is a political protest, even if it's against legislation covering unacceptable behavior at football matched. Was this the same bunch who vandalised Fir Park? Or the same bunch who attacked police in Amsterdam? Truely Scotland's Shame.
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