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Celtic supporters are urged to stop using flares

By Ronnie Esplin

Main supporters' groups have backed Celtic's stance on pyrotechnics after their use by some fans at Sunday's Scottish Cup tie at Stranraer landed the club in trouble again.

Celtic banned three fans who they believe set off smoke bombs before and during the 3-0 win at Stair Park.

Scottish FA compliance officer Tony McGlennan has reviewed video footage and Police Scotland confirmed it is also to investigate the incident along with outbreaks of sectarian singing which is reported to have taken place.

Parkhead bosses issued a statement on Monday saying that "events have again caused embarrassment".

Celtic currently face a Uefa charge after fans set off flares during their Europa League clash with Fenerbahce in Turkey in December, while they have been hit with a series of escalating punishments following several other incidents.

The Celtic Supporters' Association, the Affiliation of Registered Celtic Supporters' Clubs and the Association of Irish Celtic Supporters' Clubs - who collectively represent tens of thousands of fans - are fully behind the club.

Joe O' Rourke, general secretary of the Celtic Supporters' Association, said: "I have the full backing of our member branches, the use of pyrotechnics needs to stop right away.

"I was only yards away from the area where they seemed to be coming from, the people around me were, like me, of the senior variety, and all were of the opinion that it was unacceptable. In fact, there were a few angry words exchanged.

"The dangers to our own supporters alone make it unacceptable. As this is an SFA authority tournament we will probably face a fine or sanctions as well.

"A fantastic reputation built up over many years is being torn down by a small minority. I don't know who is using pyrotechnics but I'm asking for the benefit of our own fans to please stop."

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