Celtic fined €25,000 by UEFA

Celtic have been fined 25,000 euros (approx £21,000) for fans’ misbehaviour in the Europa League game against Udinese in Italy last December, UEFA has confirmed.

After the 1-1 draw at the Stadio Friuli, the Parkhead club were charged with, “the displaying of a banner of an offensive nature and the setting off of fireworks by supporters”.

A UEFA spokesperson said: “Celtic have been fined €25,000 by UEFA’s control and disciplinary body for breaching Article 11 of the UEFA disciplinary regulations.

“The decision was taken on February 23. It is nothing out of the ordinary that it wasn’t announced then. We can have 100 cases at the monthly meetings. Celtic did not appeal.”

Some Celtic fans held aloft a two-part banner which insulted UEFA, days after the club were fined €15,000 for “illicit chanting” involving pro-IRA songs at a Europa League game against Rennes at Celtic Park. Several flares were also let off.

Celtic banned for life one fan who was arrested in Italy over the alleged assault of a club steward, and who they say was one of those responsible for the banner.

Manager Neil Lennon and chief executive Peter Lawwell hit out at the “rogue” element within their support on the day after the game.

The club also vowed to sift through photographic evidence to find those fans responsible for the use of the flares, warning that they will take “appropriate action”.

Lawwell said: “It is very frustrating. Those people are not Celtic supporters. We will weed them out and these guys will not get back into Celtic FC.

“One or two silly little juvenile boys doing funny kids’ pranks and stuff is bringing the whole of Scottish football down.”

Lennon added: “My only surprise is that they got the spelling [on the banner] right.

“I am very disappointed, they have let me down, they have let the board, players and background staff down and 99.9% of the support down.”

Meanwhile, the Scottish FA’s compliance officer Vincent Lunny has written to Neil Lennon for the third time in just over a week, asking for an explanation of comments made by the Celtic manager about referees ahead of their SPL clash with St Johnstone at Parkhead this Sunday.

Ahead of the visit of the Saints, which will be refereed by George Salmond, Lennon was quoted in yesterday’s Evening Times as saying: “It will be nice just to be able to go out and think only about winning a game of football — and maybe have a decent refereeing performance into the bargain.”

The Parkhead boss has allegedly breached rule 69, which prevents managers commenting on referees before games, a rule which was implemented at the start of the season.

The Irishman has until tomorrow to respond.

Lennon was served with a notice of complaint by Lunny on Monday after being sent off by referee Calum Murray at half-time in the 3-2 SPL defeat by Rangers, while he must also explain his comments following last week’s 1-0 Scottish League Cup final defeat against Kilmarnock when he described Willie Collum’s decision not to award the Hoops a late penalty as “shocking” and “criminal”.

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