Humza Yousaf delivers Celtic ultras response on Palestine flags as First Minister holds Green Brigade sympathy

The First Minister has weighed in on the Celtic ultras showing support for Palestine this season.
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Humza Yousaf says Celtic fans should be allowed to wave flags in support of Palestine if they please - but will leave any decisions to the club.

During matches in the first half of this season - including at home to Kilmarnock and Atletico Madrid - Hoops ultras group The Green Brigade showed solidarity with Palestine amid the conflict in Gaza.

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Celtic were fined £15200 for the display against Atletico in the Champions League by UEFA. They deemed the flags to be 'provocative messages of an offensive nature.'

The topic has proven divisive, with Celtic fan support for Palestine stretching back before this season. Parkhead chiefs had called for flags not to be shown prior to the meeting with the Spanish capital side.

First Minister Yousaf has weighed in on the topic through The Rest is Politics. He believes fans should be allowed to show support, but Celtic themselves must decide the best course of action.

He said: "In terms of the waving of flags, to me, first of all, it’s barely the most important issue in the Israel/Gaza (conflict).

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"My general impression has been, look, if people want to show solidarity by waving flags, we should let them just wave flags, but it’s up to the club what it decides to do.

"It's an internal matter for the club, the management and the board." Yousaf has never hidden his support of Celtic. He also revealed the difficult conversations he had to have over his club during covid.

The First Minister added: "I’ve been a Celtic fan since I was about six years old so to somehow pretend I wasn’t a Celtic fan would be a bit ridiculous.

"I think people prefer their politicians to be human beings. I have at times had to criticise Celtic. When I was Justice Secretary, there were times I had to be critical, for example during covid. You have to remove what affiliation you have got when doing your job.

"My late uncle, who sadly passed away quite young with pancreatic cancer, took me to my first ever Celtic game and I just fell in love with the club.”

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