Published Wednesday, 28 August 2013
Celtic will host Kazakh side Shakhter Karagandy in the second leg game. (© Getty)
The Kazakh champions traditionally slaughter a sheep before their matches and did so at the Astana Arena the day before their first leg clash with Celtic.
The move prompted animal rights group PETA to express outrage and write to UEFA president Michel Platini to demand the football team be punished.
Earlier this week, Shakhter boss Viktor Kumykov suggested the ritual could be repeated at Parkhead.
"We will try to respect our traditions and those traditions have been in place even before we came to the club," the Russian said, speaking through an interpreter.
"As far as we know, in Scotland the agriculture is very developed, so it shouldn't be an issue to find a sheep."
All I can say is that every team and every club has its own pre-match traditions and rituals ...
Viktor Kumykov, Shakhter Karagandy
But later the same day, Celtic strenuously denied that such a ritual would be allowed to take place.
"Shakhter have spoken to the club and said this is a misunderstanding and made it clear they have no intention whatsoever of doing anything like this," a spokesman for the Hoops said.
UEFA has since written to Shakhter's executive director warning against the future slaughter of animals by the team.
"Although certain practices may be culturally rooted, they have no place in or around a sporting arena or event," the letter read.
"In this context, I would like to make you aware that animal slaughter on a football pitch or in a stadium before, during or after a UEFA competition match - or with reference to a UEFA competition - is totally improper and will not be tolerated.
"In case of re-occurrence, it will inevitably lead to a full investigation by our disciplinary bodies."
PETA welcomed the action against what it called "cruel and archaic practices".
Lurgan-born Lennon was left disappointed by his side's result last time out against Shakhter and now needs a change of fortune.
Wednesday night's game kicks off at 7.45pm.
© UTV News