Celtic have asked UEFA to start disciplinary proceedings against them ahead of their Champions League play-off tie against Hapoel Beer-Sheva from Israel, as Celtic supporters begin construction of a pro-Palestine pyrotechnic and gymnastic extravaganza that will rival the Olympics opening ceremony.
John Paul O’Malley, spokesperson for Celtic supporters said, “We’re glad the club have agreed that it is best to start proceedings immediately, so that they do not serve as a distraction in between the first and second leg. We’re also proud of the ambitious plans that are tabled. Some folk have been very complimentary in regard to our plans, saying that they might be so provocative that Hapoel may refuse to play, meaning Celtic can progress gloriously into the Champions League group stages by default. Our backup plan if it’s not going well by the second leg is, as ever, to convince them to field some ineligible players.”
European football’s fiercely political administrative body, UEFA, fined Celtic in the past when Palestine flags were spotted amongst their fans. The rationale for enacting punishment for the display of a flag of a country that competes in FIFA and Asian Football Confederation competitions was that it could be construed as “a political symbol” and that flying it at games can be considered an infringement of the association’s regulations, because “the conflict with Israeli forces in the region is still ongoing.”
Dundalk of Ireland, who are looking forward to visiting play-off opponents Legia Warsaw with its famously laid-back fans, were also fined for a nearly identical incident.
There are rumours that Hapoel Beer-Sheva may also request to be pre-emptively fined, as they have signalled intention to fly Israel flags in some quarters of the stadium.