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Celtic could face SPFL action over Fir Park vandalism

The Scottish Professional Football League could take action against Celtic when its match delegate's report lands at Hampden and reveals the extent of the vandalism and pyrotechnic displays which marred their win at Motherwell.

An estimated £10,000 worth of damage was caused to seating in the middle lower area of the South Stand at Fir Park, just above where a Green Brigade banner was displayed.

A flare was let off in the same area before the game while two green smoke bombs were thrown into the goalmouth, one of them landing yards from Hoops goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

A missile also flew from the Celtic support not far over the head of the England goalkeeper just after Kris Commons opened the scoring in Celtic's highly-impressive 5-0 Scottish Premiership triumph.

While Celtic are preparing to take on Barcelona in their final Champions League game of the season on Wednesday, the Nou Camp clash has, for now, been overshadowed by scenes Celtic described as "appalling".

Police Scotland is looking into the "significant damage" caused to seats and it counted 18 smoke bombs, three fireworks and one flare were set off. No arrests were made inside Fir Park.

Celtic have launched their own investigation while the Green Brigade fans group has also condemned the vandalism and admitted it should have self-policed its section more effectively.

A Green Brigade statement read: "Firstly we do not condone the breaking of seats nor do we welcome pyrotechnics being thrown on the park. We as a group are as disappointed as any about such indefensible behaviour and regret that it happened on our watch.

"Whilst it was not members of our group behaving in this manner, we accept the fact that these actions took place behind our banner in what was an unofficial 'Green Brigade section' and furthermore that the fans within this area are associated to our group whether they are members or not.

"It is particularly disappointing given how hard we have worked as a member organisation of Fans Against Criminalisation and of our own accord to fight the criminalisation of football supporters as we realise the damage that the events of Friday night could have on our efforts to challenge the continued harassment of Celtic fans by Police Scotland.

"Ultimately, we should have had greater control of the bodies present within our block and our failure to do so has resulted in events which are unacceptable and we will strive to ensure that such scenes are not repeated."

The main Celtic fans' group, the Affiliation of Registered Celtic Supporters Clubs, expressed frustration at the actions.

A statement read: "We should be discussing another devastating Celtic performance on the pitch instead we are talking about disappointments off the field.

"Lets make no mistake that incidents like (Friday) night at Fir Park and the publicity that this attracts makes any negotiations regarding ticket pricing, safe standing and policing at games more difficult.

"Any payment for damage and fines that are the responsibility of the club are ultimately paid by us. This is a measurable cost. The damage to our reputation as a support is unquantifiable.

"In a time when we are fighting to reduce ticket prices, fighting against the Offensive Behaviour Act and trying to make the game more attractive to the thousands who fans who have lost interest (Friday) night is nothing short of disheartening and does nothing to help."

Contextual targeting label: 
Football

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