Belfast Telegraph

Celtic and Linfield facing charges over ill-tempered match

By Staff Reporter

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths and Linfield have been charged by Uefa after last week's trouble-hit match at Windsor Park.

Linfield have been charged with the throwing of objects and an attempted pitch invasion during the Champions League qualifier on Friday.

Hoops star Griffiths is charged with "provoking spectators".

Celtic have also been charged with improper conduct for having five players booked during the game, which they won 2-0.

The charges were announced yesterday and will be dealt with by Uefa's control, ethics and disciplinary body on July 20.

The proceedings may see Linfield being slapped with a hefty fine, while the charge against the Celtic striker could earn him a ban.

During the game, a bottle of Buckfast was thrown in the direction of Griffiths as he prepared to take a corner.

After the match, Griffiths tied a Celtic scarf around a goalpost, leading to some Linfield fans trying to get onto the pitch.

The charges come before the second leg of the tie in Glasgow tomorrow night.

Around 1,500 Linfield supporters are expected to travel from Northern Ireland for the game.

Fans of both sides are being urged by Scottish police to stay "focused on the football".

Officers said there will be a "robust" policing plan in place and they have advised people to comply with all safety and security arrangements at Celtic Park.

Police Scotland's event commander Superintendent Craig Smith said: "Glasgow once again is in the spotlight as Celtic host Linfield on their return leg.

"As would be expected at such an event, there will be a robust policing plan in place with public safety being paramount.

"We've been working with a range of partners including the Police Service of Northern Ireland in our planning in the lead up to the match.

"There will be additional officers in and around Glasgow to assist those supporters attending the match.

"We'll also have officers at transport hubs to ensure fans get there safely, working with British Transport Police officers.

"Although the majority of supporters attending these matches are well-behaved and enjoy the game, there is often a minority who are intent in drinking too much alcohol and engage in criminal behaviour such as disorder, offensive behaviour and vandalism.

"Plan your outing in advance, know your travel plans, drink responsibly and be aware of restrictions on what you can bring into the stadium.

"Anyone who is intent in causing disorder or hate crime can expect to be arrested by the police.

"Let's keep this match focused on the football."

Police also reminded fans it is an offence to use threatening, abusive or insulting words, or to display written material likely to stir up hate crimes.

Fans are also not allowed to enter the stadium with any pyrotechnic device.

Other offences include being drunk in a sports stadium, aboard a coach or minibus taking people to a sporting event.

Celtic refused their ticket allocation for last week's Belfast leg of the Champions League tie due to security fears.

However, there were around 300 Hoops fans in Windsor Park, with the west stand set aside to accommodate them.

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