Celtic: No Palestinian campaign at football match

By Robyn Rosen, December 1, 2009
Celtic: The Scottish TUC plan to hand out Palestinian flags to fans at the game agaisnt Hapoel Tel Aviv

Celtic: The Scottish TUC plan to hand out Palestinian flags to fans at the game agaisnt Hapoel Tel Aviv

Celtic Football Club has opposed calls from the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) for fans to wave Palestinian flags at the Hapoel Tel Aviv match.

The STUC plans to hand out 10,000 Palestinian flags to fans entering the Celtic Park stadium as an “act of solidarity”, almost one year after Operation Cast Lead.

A spokesman from Celtic FC said that the club was “extremely concerned” about the plans and questioned their compliance with UEFA regulations.

He said: “We believe Celtic Park is no place for a political demonstration.

“We recognise the work of Hapoel Tel-Aviv for their efforts within their own communities to act as a catalyst for positive change.

“Our primary concern is that event safety may be compromised by the diversion of police and those involved in public safety duties, away from their main task which is the well-being of all fans attending the match.

“No matter the rights and wrongs of any cause, a crowded football match is not the place for a public demonstration.

“We have further concerns that any behaviour within Celtic Park, in breach of UEFA regulations and Respect campaign, will have serious implications and consequences for Celtic as a club.

“Celtic FC urges our supporters to come and back the team and for everyone attending Celtic Park on Wednesday evening to behave in a responsible manner that does not compromise or divert resources from public safety or bring the club into disrepute.”

Dave Moxham, deputy general secretary of STUC, said: “Israel continues to flout international law through its illegal occupation, through increasing settlements and building its so-called security wall which separates Palestinians, family from family and community from community.”

“We hope that Celtic fans will join with us in a demonstration of support for a just and lasting peace in Israel/Palestine based on a safe and secure Palestinian homeland living side by side with Israel.”

Last updated: 2:18pm, December 2 2009