Green Brigade defy Celtic Palestine request with massive pre-match flag display before Atletico Madrid clash

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The club issued a plea to fans earlier today, urging them to leave flags or symbols at home - but the ultras group set up a display before kick-off.

The Green Brigade have defied Celtic’s request to fans not to bring Palestine symbols to tonight’s UEFA Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid by unveiling a massive pre-match flag display.

The ultras group - who have a rather strained relationship with the Hoops board - have been trading blows with their own club over the past few weeks following the controversial decision to share their political stance amid the ongoing Israel/Gaza conflict.

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The Scottish champions had previously condemned the fans group for their actions and refused to allow them entry to the stadium, while also banning them from purchasing tickets for away fixtures due to “unaccptable behaviour” at recent matches on the road.

Celtic then urged supporters to leave any Palestinian flags at home, pleading for unity without producing, banners or symbols relating to the trouble in the Middle East. North Curve Celtic launched an attack on their own club with a lengthy statement, asking fans to be “courageous” and take part in a flag display, which was evident as both teams emerged from the tunnel before kick-off.

In a message to fans earlier today, a Celtic statement read: “We have witnessed death, violence and destruction in the Holy Land in recent weeks, with thousands of people - men, women and children - killed, injured and displaced. We are witnessing a tragedy of horrendous scale. As it continues, everyone at Celtic prays for all who have been affected. We also hope and pray for peace, and for humanitarian support to reach those who are in need and in fear. Many of our colleagues, supporters, friends and families have been affected by these events.

“Against this backdrop of conflict and pain, sport can promote peace and demonstrate humanity and empathy for all who continue to suffer. For the club’s UEFA Champions League match against Atletico Madrid this evening, Celtic and Atletico Madrid players and coaching staff will wear black armbands, as a show of respect and support for all those affected by the conflict. The club is also making a contribution to the International Committee of the Red Cross to support people affected by the humanitarian crisis in the region.

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“The club recognises that our supporters hold personal views to which everyone is entitled. As a club open to all, we all belong at Celtic Park. Celtic Park is where we come to support our football club. Recognising this, respecting the gravity of the tragedy unfolding and its impact on communities in Scotland and across the world, and in line with other clubs, leagues and associations, we ask that banners, flags and symbols relating to the conflict and those countries involved in it are not displayed at Celtic Park at this time.

“As we approach this crucial fixture, as ever, we sincerely thank our fans for their positive support of the players and the team. We thank you very much for your continued support of Celtic Football Club.”

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