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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Ewan Paton

Green Brigade section of Celtic Park looks sparse as ban commences

This is the scene at Celtic Park tonight with the section of the stadium which usually houses the Green Brigade looking rather sparse.

The supporters' group yesterday had their season tickets suspended by the club following recent ‘unacceptable behaviours’. The club has stated this course of action had been taken 'pending further review' regarding the group's adherence to ground relations and conduct in the future. 

Around 250 season tickets were suspended as part of the move, so while their absence can be seen at tonight's game, there are still plenty of fans surrounding the north curve area of Parkhead, within the designated rail seating zone.

The ban was imposed with immediate effect, meaning the Green Brigade are absent from this evening's home match against St Mirren. However, they have also been suspended from applying for away tickets.

A Celtic spokesperson said: "To avoid any misunderstanding, the progressive steps taken by the club over a period of time are as a result of an increasingly serious escalation in unacceptable behaviours and non-compliance with applicable regulations, at matches at Celtic Park and away grounds over a period of time, which are creating serious safety concerns and other issues."

The Green Brigade hit back at the Celtic board with a strongly-worded statement of their own. In it, they claimed those in power had 'shamed' the club over their reluctance to allow Palestine flags to be displayed at Parkhead.

The suspension comes after the latest UEFA fines handed down to Celtic as a result of the ultras' behaviour during this season's Champions League.

Pyro was set off by the group in Rotterdam as Brendan Rodgers' side lost to Feyenoord during their Group E opener on September 19. Not only did this lead to a £23,000 fine from European football’s governing body, but it sparked safety issues and complaints from other Celtic supporters. It's also believed that the Green Brigade illegally entered Celtic Park to prepare a large unauthorised tifo display which was held aloft prior to the match against Lazio on October 4.

The club is also believed to have taken this action after they assessed safety access issues during a recent Premiership away game at Fir Park, which is said to have led to rushing turnstiles and forcing open fire exits to permit individuals without tickets.

Various instances of abuse of matchday access prior to games against Kilmarnock, Atletico Madrid and Hibernian has also been cited by the club. This involved breaching the restrictions previously communicated between Celtic officials and the group, and displaying intimidating and threatening behaviour towards staff.

More to follow.

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