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Celtic to learn fate over Bobby Sands banner today

The Green Brigade's display before the Champions League game with Milan at Celtic Park
The Green Brigade’s display before the Champions League game with Milan at Celtic Park

CELTIC will today find out what action UEFA will take against the club following the Green Brigade’s unfurling of a Bobby Sands banner at a recent Champion’s League clash.

UEFA’s disciplinary body met this week to begin proceedings over an ‘illicit banner’, stating they would announce an outcome on Friday.

The banner showed 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?

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UEFA prohibits messages of a political and ideological nature being displayed in a stadium.

The Green Brigade, the Celtic supporters’ group responsible for the banners, insisted they were football-related.

They argue that the banner were designed to protest against the Scottish Government’s Offensive Behaviour at Football Act and Police Scotland’s implementation of the legislation, which it claims has criminalised expressions of Irish politics.

But Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell demanded supporters leave their political views at home after UEFA announced the action.

Manager Neil Lennon added that his “heart sank” when he saw the display, arguing it was neither the time nor place for such a demonstration.

The club have since moved to separate the group at Parkhead after a number of seats were vandalised, in the section containing Green Brigade members, and pyrotechnics were let off and thrown on the pitch when Celtic beat Motherwell at Fir Park last Friday night.

The club handed “precautionary suspensions” to 128 supporters preventing them from attending home and away matches, while 250 season ticket-holders housed in section 111 – the Green Brigade’s corner of Celtic Park – will be moved to other parts of the ground or given refunds on season tickets.

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