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Celtic fans must halt IRA chants – Lawwell

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has reiterated his plea for supporters not to engage in pro-IRA chanting after the club opted against appealing against a fine imposed by UEFA.

Yesterday, UEFA’s control and disciplinary panel issued a ¤15,000 (£12,700) fine for ‘illicit chanting’ during the 3-1 Europa League win over Rennes on November 3.

The match delegate was informed of pro-IRA chanting by the Strathclyde Police match commander and Celtic yesterday decided against appealing the decision.

Lawwell has called for an end to such chanting by “a tiny minority” of the Bhoys’ support.

He said: “The heavy fine imposed by UEFA is an indication of the seriousness with which it treats such matters.

“We would reiterate our own position that, however small a minority is involved, such chanting is not welcome at Celtic Football Club.

“Clearly, it is very disappointing and a source of real regret amongst our supporters that Celtic’s proud history of exemplary conduct has been tarnished.

“However, this is a clear warning that such behaviour will not be tolerated and, together, Celtic FC and our supporters will do all we can to ensure this incident is not repeated.

“We would like to thank our supporters for their magnificent conduct since the match against Rennes. We are proud of the fantastic and positive reputation we have established.”

Earlier this month, Celtic escaped Scottish Premier League action over pro-IRA chanting, the league ruling the club had taken all reasonable action to prevent such “unacceptable conduct”, which was reported by police following a goalless draw against Hibernian on October 29.

UEFA has been more willing to punish clubs and national associations in similar instances.

The European governing body has fined Rangers for “discriminatory” behaviour on three occasions, the latest offences also prompting a one-match travel ban on supporters.