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Celtic boss Rodgers 'not aware' of paramilitary banner at Linfield game

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has said that he was not aware of a paramilitary-style banner unveiled by fans during their Champions League qualifier against Belfast club Linfield.

The banner showed an image of a person dressed in a paramilitary-style uniform of beret, dark glasses and military jumper, along with an Easter lily badge, a symbol that commemorates the 1916 Easter Rising and which is often associated with various factions of the IRA.

The banner was held up by fans next to a banner showing manager Brendan Rodgers inside a road works sign with his hands held up, with the caption 'Rodgers at Work'.

Speaking after the match, Rodgers told journalists that he had been focusing on the match, and was not aware of the banner.

"I didn’t, no, no," he said when asked if he had seen the incident.

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GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 19: Celtic Fans inside Parkhead during the UEFA Champions League Qualifying Second Round,Second Leg match between Celtic and Linfield at Celtic Park Stadium on July 19, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

"Fortunately I just one of these guys that just concentrates on football, and concentrates on the game. I’ve got decent vision, I’ve got a bad first touch (laugh from crowd) - but my vision doesn’t (gestures upwards with hand) - so I’m concentrating on football."

This controversy comes after a first-leg in which a mostly peaceful encounter was marred by some incidents of fans throwing objects, and an incident of Celtic player Leigh Griffiths allegedly provoking spectators.

Both of these charges will Thursday be reviewed by the UEFA Control, Ethics, and Disciplinary Body.

If the European football authority does decide to take action over the banner at Wednesday's game, it would not be the first time that the club have fallen foul of rules that prevent political imagery being shown during matches.

Last year the Glasgow club had to pay out €10,000 after Palestinian flags were displayed in a match against Israeli club Hapoel Beer-Sherva FC.

In 2013, they were required to pay out €50,000 after a banner showing the images of Bobby Sands and William Wallace were displayed at a Champions League match with AC Milan.

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