Celtic football club has been fined €10,000 (£8,600) by UEFA after hundreds of fans flew Palestinian flags before and during a Champions League qualifying match against Israeli team Hapoel Be’er Sheva last month.
UEFA had warned the club prior to the game that they could face sanctions if Palestinian flags were displayed by supporters inside Celtic Park.
The fine was a lot lower than expected. Celtic fans launched an online campaign to pay what they thought would be a fine of around £50,000, they also pledged to give money to the Palestinians. In just a few days they managed to raise over £136,000 for the cause, dwarfing the fine that UEFA hit them with.
The fine is also much lower than two years ago when Celtic was fined £16,000 after a single Palestinian flag was displayed at a Champions League qualifier against KR Reykjavik.
While we welcome the fact that UEFA has taken action and not ignored the situation, it is disappointing that their action was so weak. This was a good opportunity for both Celtic and UEFA to stand up to hatred, but instead, we feel, that neither party has done enough to address this issue.