- POSTED: 14 Dec 2013 07:25
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Scottish giants Celtic were fined by UEFA on Friday for a banner deemed "illicit" by the European football governing body.
PARIS: Scottish giants Celtic were fined by UEFA on Friday for a banner deemed "illicit" by the European football governing body.
Fans of the Scottish champions known as the Green Brigade held up a banner displaying an image of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands alongside Scottish nationalist hero William Wallace.
The banner also included a line saying: "The terrorist or the dreamer?"
UEFA rules prohibit messages of a political or ideological nature and Celtic were fined 50,000 euros ($68,600) for the banners, which were displayed during their home Champions League match with AC Milan on November 26.
The Celtic supporters' group responsible for the banners, the Green Brigade, insisted they were football-related as they were designed to protest against the Scottish Government's Offensive Behaviour at Football Act and Police Scotland's implementation of the legislation, which it claims has criminalised expressions of Irish politics.
Manager Neil Lennon admitted his 'heart sank' when he saw the display, arguing it was neither the time nor place for such a demonstration.
The club has handed 'precautionary suspensions' to 128 supporters, banning them from all home and away matches, after fireworks and smoke bombs were let off and thrown on the pitch when Celtic beat Motherwell at Fir Park last Friday.
Police made five arrests on Thursday over the Motherwell disturbances.
Germans Eintracht Frankfurt were also hit with a 70,000-euro fine by UEFA after their supporters let off flares during a Europa League match with Bordeaux on November 28.