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Uefa fines Celtic for displaying Palestine flags, Legia Warsaw to play behind closed doors

European football’s governing body has dished out a number of sanctions today.

A Celtic fan with the Palestine flag (file photo).
A Celtic fan with the Palestine flag (file photo).

CELTIC HAVE BEEN fined by UEFA after their fans displayed Palestine flags during a Champions League qualifier at Parkhead.

The Scottish Premiership champions must pay €10,000 after being found guilty of having “illicit banners” in the first leg 5-2 win over Israeli side Hapoel Beer-Sheva on 17 August.

Members of Celtic supporters group Green Brigade had raised €150,000 for two Palestinian charities — Medical Aid Palestine and the Lajee Centre — to match an anticipated fine by Uefa after the game.

Celtic v Hapoel Beer Sheva - UEFA Champions League Qualifying - Play-Off First Leg - Celtic Park Celtic fans with the flags outside Celtic Park. Source: Jeff Holmes

“At the Champions League match with Hapoel Be’er Sheva on 17 August 2016, the Green Brigade and fans throughout Celtic Park flew the flag for Palestine,” read the Green Brigade statement when they launched the appeal.

“This act of solidarity has earned Celtic respect and acclaim throughout the world. It has also attracted a disciplinary charge from Uefa, which deems the Palestinian flag to be an ‘illicit banner’.

In response to this petty and politically partisan act by European football’s governing body, we are determined to make a positive contribution to the game and today launch a campaign to #matchthefineforpalestine.”

Meanwhile, Legia Warsaw’s Champions League game against Real Madrid will be played behind closed doors after European football’s governing body sanctioned the Polish club for the crowd disturbances that marred their meeting with Borussia Dortmund.

Poland Soccer Champions League Fans light flares during the Champions League game between Legia Warsaw and Borussia Dortmund. Source: Czarek Sokolowski

Legia, who went through the group stages after seeing off League of Ireland champions Dundalk in the play-offs, were also fined €80,000 after home fans showered stewards with pepper spray and attempted to break through barriers to reach their Dortmund counterparts during the meeting on 14 September.

Uefa found Legia fans guilty of setting off fireworks, throwing objects and racist behaviour, while the club were reprimanded for insufficient organisation and blocked stairways.

Legia apologised in the immediate aftermath but it has not prevented them from missing out on lucrative gate receipts from the meeting with European champions Madrid on 2 November.

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