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'Celtic is not a political arena' - Brendan Rodgers unhappy with club's Green Brigade supporters

Manager Brendan Rodgers has asked supporters to “stick to football.”

Celtic's Green Brigade pictured during a Scottish Premier League game.
Celtic's Green Brigade pictured during a Scottish Premier League game.
Image: Danny Lawson

BRENDAN RODGERS HAS warned the ‘Green Brigade’ section of Celtic’s support to stop damaging the Scottish champions’ reputation.

The Glasgow side have closed the area of their Parkhead stadium that houses the ultras-style fan group for the next two matches following incidents at their previous home games.

Celtic were hit with UEFA disciplinary charges over an alleged illicit banner of a paramilitary figure and blocked stairways during their Champions League victory over Linfield last Wednesday.

Ahead of the Champions League qualifying clash with Rosenborg at Parkhead on Wednesday, Rodgers made it clear the controversial political images and chants must stop.

“Celtic is not a political arena for any supporters to come into and display any sort of political element,” he said on Tuesday.

“I don’t think there is a need for it. Some supporters might say there is a political element to football and a basis to tell a story.

Linfield v Celtic - UEFA Champions League Qualifying - Second Round - First Leg - Windsor Park Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

“There might be other countries where this ultras factor go beyond football.

“But the governance here in Britain is different and one of the big points for me is the safety element.

“My message is, stick to football, stick to supporting the team that you love.”

The recent UEFA charges against Celtic are not the first the club has had to endure as a result of the Green Brigade’s activities and, while Rodgers admires their passion, he is certain their actions can only harm the team they adore.

“The club have worked tirelessly over the years, the first club in Britain to put in a (safe) standing section and 99.9 per cent of the time they along with the rest of the fans give us this incredible support. But the political element is not acceptable,” he said.

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“There are forums, platform for that outside of football. Take that somewhere else.

“It is not for inside Celtic Park. It is not what the values are, the ethos is and it is certainly not what I’m about as a manager.

“I have huge admiration for the support they give but my honest feelings is that I’m not with it, I am very much aligned with the thinking of the board and the people that run the club, the people that have to pay the fines. That is my answer to it.”

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