SPORTS

Celtic BAN Green Brigade ultras from their matches for ‘unacceptable conduct’ – but their Palestine flag protest against Atletico Madrid was NOT behind the decision

Celtic have banned the Green Brigade section of fans from attending any of the club’s matches until further notice.

The drastic step was taken after a number of incidents at stadiums throughout Scotland and abroad over the past two months which were considered to be ‘unacceptable conduct’.

This is understood to have involved flares being set off inside grounds, the storming of fire doors at Celtic Park, the abuse of staff, pitch incursions and the displaying of unauthorised banners.

While the Green Brigade promoted the flying of Palestinian flags during last week’s Champions League game with Atletico Madrid against the club’s wishes, it’s understood that this had no bearing on the decision.

Starting with Wednesday’s home match with St Mirren, the self-styled ultras group – which has around 250 members – will be denied access. The ban extends to tickets for away matches.

Celtic also cited their fans use of pyrotechnics during their Champions League defeat at Feyenoord
It’s understood that the flying of Palestinian flags had no bearing on the decision

Other supporters whose season tickets are in the ‘rail seating’ section, an area with a capacity of 3,000, are unaffected by the club’s stance but have been informed of the reasons behind the Green Brigade’s absence.

Celtic sent an email to members of the fans’ group informing them of their decision. It read: ‘We are writing to advise that due to repeated incidents of unacceptable conduct involving the “Green Brigade” group, the club has suspended the season tickets of all season ticket holders who have registered with the ticket office as being part of this group, pending further review and communication with the group and/or the supporters in question regarding compliance with the ground regulations, the rail seating safety code of conduct, and club communications, moving forward.

‘Therefore, your ticket is not eligible for use tomorrow night for our match against St Mirren and will remain suspended until further notice.

‘Access to away tickets for supporters registered as being part of the group will also remain suspended.

‘The safety of all supporters at Celtic Park is of paramount importance and, amid these serious safety concerns, this immediate action — whilst regrettable — is considered by the club to be necessary.

While the Green Brigade promoted the flying of Palestinian flags last week 

‘We have separately emailed the representative of the group with further detail, following on from a number of formal written communications dating back to September and ongoing dialogue since the summer.

‘Should you wish to contact the club on this or any other matter related to the rail seating section, we would ask that you direct your correspondence in the first instance to [email protected].’

The Green Brigade have had a troubled relationship with the club since forming in 2006. Although credited with organising a number of spectacular football-related tifos – a visual display of flags or banners – they have landed Celtic in hot water with UEFA on numerous occasions due to misconduct over displaying banners that were either deemed offensive or political.

Ten years ago, following trouble and damage to seats at Fir Park, Celtic made initial moves to disband the group, but they have continued to occupy their designated section of the ground.

A Celtic spokesperson said: ‘To avoid any misunderstanding, the progressive steps taken by the club over a period of time are as a result of an increasingly serious escalation in unacceptable behaviours and non-compliance with applicable regulations, at matches at Celtic Park and away grounds over a period of time, which are creating serious safety concerns and other issues.’