St Johnstone lift ban on Celtic bringing banners

Fans will now be able to take flags and banners to Celtic’s St Stephen’s Day clash at St Johnstone following a U-turn by the Perth club and the police, according to the Scottish champions.

St Johnstone had announced on Sunday that a ban had been imposed in a bid to prevent flags being used as a shield to let off smoke bombs and flares, which is a criminal offence in Scottish football grounds.

Celtic’s most recent Scottish Premiership away trip, against Motherwell, saw a number of pyrotechnics let off among away fans and two smoke bombs thrown on to the pitch.

But Celtic announced yesterday the decision had been reversed. A Celtic statement read: “Following discussions today between Celtic, the local police and St Johnstone FC, it has been decided that flags and banners will now be permitted at the match on [St Stephen’s] Day.

It added: “We do not need or welcome any form of pyrotechnics at matches and clearly any continued presence of these does nothing for Celtic FC or our supporters.”

The statement came as Motherwell began work to replace more than 250 seats which were broken by Celtic fans during their Fir Park meeting on December 6.

Police said that 18 smoke bombs, three fireworks, and one flare had been set off inside the ground, while a number of arrests have been made.


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