Celtic escape punishment over banner

 

Celtic have been found not guilty by the Scottish Football Association on all four charges relating to an alleged offensive banner displayed by fans during a pre-season friendly against Norwich at Parkhead.

The SFA issued a notice of complaint alleging four rule breaches over the banner relating to Rangers, which appeared in the Celtic support in the July 24 contest in Glasgow.

The SFA charges alleged Celtic had fallen foul of the rules by failing to prevent supporters from bringing the banner into the ground and displaying it.

The club were also accused of failing to deal effectively with an instance of unacceptable conduct "by allowing spectators to retain possession of the banner after it had been initially displayed, which allowed them to display the banner on a second occasion during the above match".

The banner in question is understood to have featured a gunman shooting a zombie-like figure next to a gravestone with a Rangers crest on it, as supporters mocked the impending liquidation of the Ibrox club.

However, the SFA today cleared the Parkhead club of all four charges relating to rules 26, 28, 31 and 32.

Rule 26: A club shall take all such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure the safety, good conduct and behaviour of its supporters on any ground. A club playing at its own ground or allowing its ground to be used for a match in which it is not participating shall also take all such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure the safety, good conduct and behaviour of all spectators at that ground.

Rule 28: Any misbehaviour by spectators before, during or at the close of a match resulting from the failure of a club or recognised football body to take all reasonably practicable steps to avoid the misbehaviour shall render that club or recognised football body liable to any combination of sanctions provided in this Protocol.

Rule 31: A club playing at its own ground or allowing its ground to be used for a match in which it is not participating must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, (i) good order and security; (ii) that policies and procedures have been adopted and are implemented to prevent instances of Unacceptable Conduct; and (iii) that any instance of Unacceptable Conduct is effectively dealt with, all at its own ground, on the occasion of a match.

Rule 32: Each club must ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that its players, officials, supporters and any person exercising a function for or in connection with the club do not engage in Unacceptable Conduct at any club's ground on the occasion of a match.

Any failure by a club to discharge a requirement to which it is subject by virtue of Article 28.6 and this Article 28.7 shall constitute a breach of these Articles.

PA

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