Celtic hit with UEFA fine for 'illicit' banners

The Scottish champions have been punished for banners depicting William Wallace and IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, which were displayed during the club's match against AC Milan.
UEFA has imposed a 50,000 euro fine on Celtic for displaying "illicit" banners in its Champions League encounter with AC Milan.

Proceedings were opened against the club Nov. 27 after certain sections of the crowd unfurled banners that appeared to pay tribute to an IRA terrorist.

Celtic, which lost the fixture 3-0 at Celtic Park to crash out of the competition, insisted the banners were not approved by the club. But UEFA decided to take action, and the Glasgow giants have urged supporters to avoid a repeat of any such behavior.

A statement on the club's website read: "Celtic can confirm that UEFA has today imposed a €50,000 fine on the club following the display of illicit banners at the recent match against AC Milan.  

"Clearly it is extremely disappointing that the club must pay another sizeable penalty following the actions of a small minority, particularly given the previous assurances which were made to the club and the widespread understanding of the likely outcome of such actions.

"Regrettably, due to previous charges being brought against the club, again following the actions of a small minority, the fines imposed by UEFA are increasing in scale. It goes without saying that such actions must stop now, before the club receives a competitive sanction or one which would affect our supporters attending European matches."

The news is a further blow for the Scottish champions, who imposed bans on 128 supporters Monday following crowd trouble in a league fixture at Motherwell.