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Platini’s fury over bombs sent to Lennon

By Lisa Gray

UEFA president Michel Platini condemned the parcel bombs sent to Celtic manager Neil Lennon and two high-profile Celtic fans and insisted that politics and religion had no place in football.

Platini, who spoke out against sectarianism at the Uefa Congress last month, said the whole of Uefa was supporting Lennon.

The Frenchman, in London for the Champions League trophy handover ceremony, told reporters: “It's a pity in football that we have these problems.

“We have to keep politics and religion out of football and sport, that is very important.

“It's a very bad thing that has happened to the manager of Celtic and the whole of UEFA support him. We have to do try to help football and to do something. With my heart I am with him.”

UEFA have taken a strong stance on sectarianism in the recent past.

Rangers are currently facing two UEFA disciplinary charges over alleged sectarian chanting at their two Europa League matches against PSV Eindhoven and could face a two-match ban on supporters in European games next season and a heavy fine.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell appealed to supporters to stay calm and only respond through support for Lennon, who has been the subject of tight security measures since a first package was intercepted by Royal Mail staff on March 4.

Lawwell said: “It is an intolerable state of affairs which must end. Celtic, from our inception, has been a club open to all. We enjoy friendship and respect throughout the world yet, here in Scotland, we are caught up in these vile events.”

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