Celtic Fans Raise over 145,000 Pounds for Palestinian Charities after Flag Protest During UEFA Match

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On August 17, 2016, during the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) Champions League football match in the Scottish city of Glasgow, supporters of the home team, Celtic Football Club, displayed the flag of Palestine to protest against Israel’s aggression against the people of the territory.

Celtic was playing an Israeli team, Hapoel Be’er Sheva, and the fans saw it as a very good opportunity to show solidarity with the people of Palestine. The fans called for an end to Israel’s aggression and the granting of total independence to the people living in the territory.

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After the match, which ended 5-2 in favor of Celtic, UEFA officials announced a close examination of the incident and recommend a so-called disciplinary action against the behavior of the fans. September 22, 2016 has been scheduled by UEFA officials for hearing of the case against the club. Football experts say it is likely that UEFA will fine Celtic over the behavior of its fans.

UEFA claims to have so-called rules that forbid the use of gestures, words, objects or any other means to transmit any message that is not fit for a sporting event, particularly messages that are of a political, ideological, religious, offensive or provocative nature.

However, as UEFA’s fine against Celtic is still pending, fans of the club have done an amazing thing. During Celtic’s return league against Hapoel Be’er Sheva on August 23, 2016 in Beersheba, Celtic fans launched a fundraising campaign to raise money for two charities who are working to bring relief to the Palestinian people.

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During the match in Beersheba, the Israeli authorities were worried that Celtic fans will wave the flags of Palestine, like they did in Glasgow. The match ended 2-0 in favor of Hapoel Be’er Sheva, but Celtic progressed to the next stage of the competition, due to superior goals aggregate. Although the fans did not repeat what they did in Glasgow, on GoFundMe, the fans launched an appeal to raise funds for the people of Palestine. As of writing this article, the fans had donated more than £145,000 for their project.

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The fans wrote on GoFundMe: “At the Champions League match with on 17 August 2016, the Green Brigade and fans throughout Celtic Park flew the flag for Palestine. This act of solidarity has earned Celtic respect and acclaim throughout the world. It has also attracted a disciplinary charge from Uefa, which deems the Palestinian flag to be an ‘illicit banner’. In response to this petty and politically partisan act by European football’s governing body, we are determined to make a positive contribution to the game and today launch a campaign to #matchthefineforpalestine.”

The fans said they are raising the money for Medical Aid Palestine and Lajee Centre. These two charities are said to be delivering health and medical care to the Palestinians worst affected by conflict, occupation and displacement, waged by the Israeli government against the Palestinian civilian population.

Celtic v Hapoel Be’er-Sheva - UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Off First Leg

The fans also said they are hoping to use part of the money to buy football kits and equipment to enable children living in refugee camps to have a football team, which would be called Aida Celtic. The team will play in the Bethlehem youth league. According to the fans, this will help put a little smile on the faces of the children who, together with their parents, are being repressed by the Israelis.

Football analysts say this is not the first time Celtic fans have showed their support to the Palestinian people. In 2014, it is said the club was fined more than £15,000, after a Palestinian flag was displayed at a UEFA Champions League qualifier against KR Reykjavik from Iceland.

Celtic fans have made their stand. You can also click here to donate the little you have, to support their noble initiative. You can help the Celtic fans make a difference.


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2 COMMENTS

  1. So all of a sudden it’s acceptable to fund terrorists? I’d be very surprised if the money was spent on anything other than weapons.

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