Celtic board condemn Green Brigade Palestine banners as winger Liel Abada holds talks with club hierarchy

The Hoops have issued a statement, making it clear that the club ‘is not a political organisation’.
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Celtic have issued a statement condemning the Green Brigade’s “inappropriate” political display in support of Palestine, insisting that such banners are “not welcome” at Parkhead.

The prominent Hoops ultras group - who have continued to show their solidarity with Palestinians for over a decade - unveiled two large banners ahead of Saturday’s Scottish Premiership clash with Kilmarnock which read: ‘Free Palestine. Victory To The Resistance!!”.

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Palestine flags were also displayed on the weekend Hamas launched a destructive attack on Israel, which killed more than 700 innocent civilians. Former Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton voiced his distaste over the controversial display with a hard-hitting message, accusing the Green Brigade of being “brainwashed” by the conflict.

Celtic have removed a display of Palestine flags from the stadium ahead of the St Johnstone match tonightCeltic have removed a display of Palestine flags from the stadium ahead of the St Johnstone match tonight
Celtic have removed a display of Palestine flags from the stadium ahead of the St Johnstone match tonight

Glasgow World understands the Scottish champions held private talks with Hoops winger Liel Abada, who was spotted visiting Celtic Park on crutches on Monday to meet with boardroom members after he was targeted by abuse on social media from his homeland.

The heartbroken 22-year-old, who is currently sidelined until after the new year with a thigh injury sustained on international duty last month, is understood to have been offered support by Celtic officials.

He has since released an emotional message on his Instagram page, stating: “It is difficult to explain the range of emotions. I feel at the moment we woke up to one of the darkest days in the history of my country. I would like to thank everybody sending me supportive messages on social media over the last couple of days. It is not taken for granted. My heart goes out to all the families who lost their loved ones. Praying for more peaceful days. Love you all.”

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And the club have spoken out, stating that “political messages and banners are not welcome at Celtic Park”. A statement read: “Banners displayed in a section of Celtic Park prior to Saturday’s game do not represent the views of Celtic Football Club and we disassociate ourselves from them. We condemn the display of such messages at Celtic Park.

“Celtic is a football club and not a political organisation. One of our core values from inception is to be open to all regardless of race, colour, politics or creed. That is why the Club has always made clear that political messages and banners are not welcome at Celtic Park, or any match involving Celtic. At a time of loss and suffering for many, it is entirely inappropriate for any group of individuals to use Celtic Park as a vehicle for such messages.

“We call on all supporters, regardless of their personal views, to unite in backing our players and the Club while respecting the rights and beliefs of others; particularly those whose lives are affected by violence and hatred.”

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