Unsafe behaviour forces Celtic to temporarily close part of safe standing enclosure

by Matthew Campelli | 25 Jul 2017

Part of the safe standing section at Celtic FC’s Parkhead stadium has been closed temporarily as a result of “serious incidents of unsafe behaviour”.

According to the Scottish champions, a number of flares were smuggled in by supporters sitting in the section, known as Green Brigade, for the last home match of the season against Hearts and the club’s preliminary Champions League tie against Linfield.

Flares caused the match against Hearts to be halted for a short period after thick smoke blew across the stadium, activating the fire alarm.

The 900 season-ticket holders that occupy the section have been contacted by the club to explain why the enclosure will not be open for the next two games.

Peter Lawwell, Celtic FC chief executive, said the behaviour presented the club with “no choice but to take decisive action”.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, but the behaviour of fans in this section is posing a direct risk to the safe operation of the stadium and is also seriously tarnishing the club’s hard-won reputation,” he added.

The news will come as a blow to a number of football clubs in the English Premier League and Championship that have declared their interest in creating similar enclosures.

Clubs in the top two divisions in England aren’t allowed to have standing areas after recommendations from the Taylor Report – which analysed the reasons for the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989 – were adopted by the government.

While the current government has stressed that there are no plans to review the status of standing in football grounds, some clubs have made clear their intention of trialling safe standing if that position were ever relaxed.

Celtic  safe standing 
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Part of the safe standing section at Celtic FC’s Parkhead stadium has been closed temporarily as a result of “serious incidents of unsafe behaviour”. According to the Scottish champions, a number of flares were smuggled in by supporters sitting in the section, known as Green Brigade, for the last home match of the season against Hearts and the club’s preliminary Champions League tie against Linfield. Flares caused the match against
SAR
Celtic fans in the safe standing zone let of flares against Hearts in May / Craig Watson/PA Wire/PA Images
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