Leave politics outside Celtic Park, says Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers has called for the Green Brigade to leave politics out of Celtic Park.

The Parkhead club announced they will close the section of their stadium housing the ultras-style fans group for the next two matches after ‘’serious incidents of unsafe behaviour’’ at their previous two home games.

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

Ahead of tonight’s Champions League qualifying clash (kick-off 7.45pm) with Rosenborg at Parkhead, Rodgers said: “I have always been aware of Celtic’s heritage, charitable work and football work.

“That’s what it was in 1888 and is to this day.

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

Rodgers, who confirmed striker Moussa Dembele and defender Eric Sviatchenko were doubts for the first leg against the Norwegian club, added: “I was saddened by what I (have) seen.

“I want to defend the guys at some time. I have been fortunate enough to be around some of the top football clubs in Britain and I can categorically say the atmosphere inside Celtic Park, not just by that section, by the 60,000 supporters is the best you will witness.

“The guys in the corner add the energy and youthfulness which is absolutely amazing.

“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.

“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.

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


Lifestyle

Steak night just got zingy.How to make Antoni Porowski’s hanger steak with charred limes, fresh chillies and herbs

Seasonal affective disorder is a lot more complex than just mourning the end of summer and being a bit glum. Liz Connor finds out more.Could your winter blues be something more serious? What to do if you’re worried about SAD

Ideal for a quick mid-week meal, eaten in front of Netflix, of course.How to make Antoni Porowski’s cauliflower steaks with turmeric and crunchy almonds

Lacemakers in Limerick want to preserve their unique craft for future generations and hope to gain UNESCO heritage status, writes Ellie O’Byrne.Made in Munster: Lace-making a labour of love rather than laborious industry

More From The Irish Examiner