Celtic have banned the Green Brigade supporters group from matches after what the clubs says are “serious issues” with the behaviour of fans at recent games.
The “ultras” supporters group has been suspended until further notice, with season tickets for the rail seating section in their corner of the ground where the group stands being revoked, beginning with Wednesday’s Premiership match against St Mirren.
Tension between the fans’ group and the club has been frequent in recent years but flared up again recently when a request from Celtic for fans to refrain from flying banners or flags relating to the conflict in the Middle East was ignored by supporters.
The club has now taken action over recent events and has also detailed a number of incidents that has led to them banning the group.
An email to Green Brigade members, titled “Rail Seating Section Update”, read: “You may be already be aware of the recent actions the club has taken in respect of the Green Brigade, relating to access at home matches and access to away tickets and the club’s review of unacceptable conduct concerning the group.
“Following that review, and further serious issues with the behaviour of Green Brigade members at the last two matches, the club deems it necessary to take further action in respect of the group.”
Citing “non-compliance” with the club’s ground regulations and rail seating safety code of conduct, Celtic said they had to give affected supporters “honest and transparent detail” on the reasoning.
After stating that group representatives had been given specific examples of behaviours that had led to the ban, the e-mail listed some of the incidents that had prompted action.
Celtic highlighted the use of pyrotechnics at the Champions League match against Feyenoord in Rotterdam, which led to the club being fined.
It also noted “unsafe behaviour” at Fir Park for a match against Motherwell, when they said that supporters rushed turnstiles and forced open fire exits to allow ticketless fans into the stadium.
Incidents during the home Champions League against Lazio were listed, with the club saying fans illegally gained access to the stand in advance of the game to bring in an unauthorised banned, as well as intimidating and threatening staff. A further “unauthorised display” in a match against Kilmarnock was also included.
The most recent example referenced the displays in the Champions League game against Atletico Madrid, which included the display of flags and banners relating to the conflict in the Middle East, and away at Hibernian last weekend where there was “violent and intimidating behaviour towards stewards”.
Celtic said that the increase in the number of incidents and an escalation in how serious the flashpoints were, had led to the action being taken.
It also said that it was aware of banners and flags in the Green Brigade section that were connected to terrorist organisations involved in the conflict in the Middle East and that this was “completely unacceptable”.
No date was given for an end to the suspension but the club asked that remaining supporters in the section followed the rules for all fans and work with the club.
Celtic has been contacted for comment.
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