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20 July 2017

Sectarian banners unfurled at Celtic Park after cops form human barrier during Celtic’s Champions League qualifier against Linfield

RIOT cops were called on to form a human barrier outside Celtic Park as supporters feared sectarian clashes in the Champions League match between Celtic and Linfield.

Sectarian banners were also unfurled as the Northern Irish club visited for second leg of their qualifying tie against the Scottish champions.

There was outrage from some sections of the crowd as Celtic fans unfurled what some depicted as a pro-IRA banner
There was outrage from some sections of the crowd as Celtic fans unfurled what some depicted as a pro-IRA banner
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Police had to intervene with some Linfield fans as the away supporters chanted at their rivals
Police had to intervene with some Linfield fans as the away supporters chanted at their rivals
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In the safe standing area of Parkhead, there were giant banners unfurled appearing to depict a paramilitary and the club’s Northern Irish manager Brendan Rodgers.

Celtic fans were also accused of singing IRA songs during the tie at the Linfield support.

Linfield, who play in the same colours as Celtic’s rivals Rangers, typically have a Unionist following in Northern Ireland.

Ugly scenes broke out on London Road, outside the 60,000-capacity ground, forcing police to use officers, mounted branch and riot vans to keep both sides apart.

Cops marched both sets of fans along opposite sides of the pavement on the main thoroughfare in Glasgow’s East End.

Supporters hurled abuse at each other as they made their way into the stadium.

One onlooker said: “Both lots of fans were shouting insults at each other across the road, some even tried to get at each other.

Fans had to be calmed down by police during the Champions League qualifier between Celtic and Linfield
Fans had to be calmed down by police during the Champions League qualifier between Celtic and Linfield
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Celtic fans are led to the stadium by police
Celtic fans are led to the stadium by police
Linfield and Celtic fans were involved in ugly scenes during the match
Linfield and Celtic fans were involved in ugly scenes during the match
Getty Images
Linfield fans were kept to the opposite side of the road
Linfield fans were kept to the opposite side of the road

“Cops were forced to form a barrier to keep them apart.

“It wasn’t a very smart idea to have the fans so close to each other in the street.”

It came almost a week after the sides met at Windsor Park in Belfast.

Linfield also brought banners of their own to Celtic Park
Linfield also brought banners of their own to Celtic Park
News Group Newspapers Ltd
A Linfield fan is handled by Glasgow Police before the game against Celtic
A Linfield fan is handled by Glasgow Police before the game against Celtic
Getty Images

A ticket u-turn by footie chiefs meant a small number of Hoops fans were allowed into Linfield’s ground.

However, the game was blighted by flash points including a glass Buckfast bottle being lobbed at Celtic ace Leigh Griffiths.

They are managed by former Manchester United and Preston striker David Healy and former Old Trafford keeper Roy Carroll is their No1.

Glasgow Police would not confirm if there had been any arrests on Wednesday night.

Noel Gallagher leaves Celtic fan gobsmacked as he breaks into rendition of 'Hail, Hail'
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