Celtic statement expresses “extreme concern” over Palestine protest calls

The club have called on their fans to avoid any behaviour which could compromise safety or lead to Uefa sanctions.

Celtic have issued a statement calling on fans to ignore calls by the STUC to show pro-Palestine support during the Hapoel Tel Aviv match. The club insisted “Celtic Park is no place for a political demonstration”.

Last week deputy general secretary Dave Moxham had called on Celtic fans to in a demonstration of support for “a just and lasting peace in Israel/Palestine”.

But the club have been keen to stress the inclusive nature of their fans and today issued a direct statement on their official website.

The statement, attributed only to newsroom staff, read: “Celtic enjoys a great reputation for the positive backing of its supporters at home and abroad and we are sure our fans will once again extend the hand of footballing friendship to supporters who visit the club.

“Against this background, the club is extremely concerned to learn of a call to hold demonstrations surrounding the Celtic v Hapoel Tel-Aviv UEFA Europa League fixture.

“Our primary concern is that event safety may be compromised by the diversion of police and those involved in public safety duties, away from their main task which is the well-being of all fans attending the match. No matter the rights and wrongs of any cause, a crowded football match is not the place for a public demonstration.

The club also expressed concerns that any protest which breached Uefa”s Regulations and Respect campaign could have “serious implications and consequences for Celtic as a club”.

The statement concluded: “Celtic FC urges our supporters to come and back the team and for everyone attending Celtic Park on Wednesday evening to behave in a responsible manner that does not compromise or divert resources from public safety or bring the club into disrepute.”

Last updated: 01 December 2009

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