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Hoops and Lazio charged by Uefa as winger extends stay


Sign on: James Forrest was all smiles last night
Sign on: James Forrest was all smiles last night

By Robert Jones

Celtic and Lazio have been charged by Uefa over "illicit chants" heard during their Europa League match last week.

In addition, the Scottish champions have been charged over the display of an "illicit banner" during the game, which the Hoops came from behind to win 2-1.

European football's governing body announced the disciplinary proceedings yesterday afternoon.

It is the third time this season Celtic have been charged by Uefa.

They were fined £10,400 earlier this month for letting off fireworks during their game against Cluj, and £11,000 for using flares and throwing missiles during their clash with AIK in August.

Uefa's control, ethics and disciplinary body will announce any prospective sanctions at its next meeting on November 21.

It is the 19th time Celtic have been punished since 2007.

Neil Lennon's side travel to Rome next week to face Lazio in their fourth group game, with an estimated 8,000 travelling fans subject to a strict alcohol curfew.

Before the meeting in Glasgow last week, Lazio fans were seen giving fascist salutes and Celtic supporters responded by displaying a banner depicting former Italian leader Benito Mussolini.

Both clubs are fearful of the bad blood continuing in Rome and fear violence.

The city's main tourist attractions will be heavily policed, an alcohol curfew will be in place from 6pm on Wednesday until 7am on Thursday, and fans will be told to be wary of wearing club colours.

The Lazio Ultras have a reputation for being one of the largest, and most violent, fans groups in European football.

Meanwhile, Celtic winger James Forrest has signed a new four-year deal at the club.

The 28-year-old, a Scotland international, will now remain at Parkhead until at least the summer of 2023.

Forrest, having joined the Hoops as a nine-year old, has made 369 appearances and scored 81 goals.

He has won eight Premiership titles, five Scottish Cups and four League Cups during his time at the club.

Speaking on his decision to extend his stay at Celtic, Forrest said: "I love it here. I came through the youth academy and every year I just enjoy it more.

"I'm absolutely delighted to extend my stay here and I'm looking forward to winning more league titles and cups with the club.

"The last couple of years especially have been unbelievable.

"When you keep winning trophies it makes you eager and wanting to strive to win more. That pushes you on for more and I want to keep winning as much as I can."

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