Scottish giants raising money after UEFA charge them for waving flags
Celtic Football Club have been charged by European football’s governing body this week after their fans were seen waving Palestinian flags during a Championships League qualifier game with Israeli side Hapoel Beer Sheva.
UEFA officials began disciplinary proceedings against the Glasgow club after a number of fans displayed the flags during their 5-2 home victory.
Days after the Champions League match, Celtic fans have now raised more than £150,000 for Palestinian charities.
UEFA later charged the club over an ‘illicit banner’ display.
UEFA rules forbid the use of ‘gestures, words, objects or any other means to transmit any message that is not fit for a sports event, particularly messages that are of a political, ideological, religious, offensive or provocative nature’.
Celtic fans have now launched a ‘#matchthefineforpalestine’ campaign to raise funds for two charities.
In a Go Fund me page, Celtic fans have written: “At the Champions League match with Hapoel Beer Sheva on 17th August 2016, the Green Brigade and fans throughout Celtic Park flew the flag for Palestine.
“This act of solidarity has earned Celtic respect and acclaim throughout the world. It has also attracted a disciplinary charge from UEFA, which deems the Palestinian flag to be an 'illicit banner'.
“In response to this petty and politically partisan act by European football's governing body we are determined to make a positive contribution to the game and today launch a campaign to #matchthefineforpalestine.
“We aim to raise £75,000 which will be split equally between Medical Aid Palestine and the Lajee Centre, a Palestinian cultural centre in Aida Refugee Camp on the outskirts of Bethlehem.”
Over the past five seasons, Celtic have been punished by UEFA nine times for fan misconduct.
On 22nd September, the club's case will be heard.
If you would like to donate, go to www.gofundme.com/matchfinepalestine