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Celtic hit with 'illicit banner' charge by UEFA following Linfield game at Parkhead

Celtic have been hit with three charges by UEFA after Wednesday evening's second leg of their tie against Linfield.

The Glasgow side have been charged with three separate offences, including having an 'illicit banner' at Celtic Park.

Fans in the standing area of Celtic Park held a banner showing 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'. That image bears similarities to a highway code-style sign which was mounted by the IRA during the Troubles in Northern Ireland and read 'Sniper at Work'.

The club have been charged under Article 16.2 of the UEFA disciplinary regulations, which prohibits the use of any means to transmit messages of a political, ideological, religious, offensive or provocative nature.

Celtic have also been charged with blocked stairways and have been hit with a 'kit infringement' charge under Article 62.03 of the UEFA Kit Regulations, which relates to branding on warm-up bibs.

The news follows more controversy during the first leg of the tie. Linfield were charged with the throwing of objects and a field invasion by supporters after a Buckfast bottle among other items were thrown in the direction of Leigh Griffiths. The Celtic player himself was charged with provoking spectators after he tied a green and white scarf to the goalpost at Windsor Park. Celtic, meanwhile, were charged with improper conduct after five of their players were booked.

UEFA are expected to announce a decision relating to charges from the first leg on Thursday.

Celtic were fined £8,615 for displaying Palestinian flags against Israeli opposition last season and were handed a £42,000 fine back in 2013 for banners of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and William Wallace along with lyrics including: 'The terrorist or the dreamer?'

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