Belfast Telegraph

Celtic and Ranger fans in clash at Belfast airport after tension on plane

By Cate McCurry

Rangers and Celtic fans clashed on Sunday night in a heated dispute at George Best Belfast City Airport.

The fracas broke out after Rangers went through to the Scottish Cup final following a 5-4 sudden-death penalty shootout victory over Celtic at Hampden Park.

Onlookers watched on as security staff intervened in a bid to keep the peace.

A video posted online shows a man wearing a Celtic shirt arguing with other fans as security guards step in to separate them.

At one point a taller man dressed in a dark jumper intervenes and appears to strike out at him with his elbow.

As the man in Celtic shirt turns to face the camera he shouts for security. They are then all escorted out of the building.

It is understood that the matter has been reported to the PSNI.

It is believed that those involved in the altercation travelled on a Flybe flight from Glasgow to Belfast on Sunday evening.

One witness who was travelling with a friend on the same aircraft claimed the injured man received five stitches near his eye following the altercation.

She said tension started building aboard.

"I was on that flight and there was sectarian abuse the whole way over, it was just constant throughout the journey," she said.

"When I got off the plane I asked for police but I was told there were no police there. I was so afraid of a fight breaking out on the plane. There was music being played including the Billy Boys."

Another passenger said he was "disgusted" at the language used on board. He said: "I witnessed what happened at the airport on Sunday night and was unfortunate to be on the Flybe flight. This incident was between one Celtic supporter and at least seven Rangers supporters.

"This man suffered an onslaught of sectarian abuse from before take off until we landed.

"What I had to endure with my young son was vile and disgusting sectarianism and rather frightening.

"Perhaps questions should be put to the relevant authorities as to how this was allowed to happen, especially in the wake of the high-profile case where a transatlantic flight was diverted and a man arrested over a request for a snack yet this went unchallenged?"

Flybe said no incidents were reported during or after the flight.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police received a report of an altercation between a number of people at Belfast City Airport around 9.30pm on Sunday April 17.

"Police attended and spoke with a number of people and enquiries are continuing."

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