Scottish Soccer Team Denounces ‘Inappropriate’ Hamas Flags, ‘Free Palestine’ Banners at Match During Israel War
The Celtic professional soccer team from Scotland has denounced fans who waved flags and banners in solidarity with the Palestinians and Hamas terror group during a Scottish Premiership match on Saturday, the same day that Hamas launched a large-scale attack against Israel and murdered hundreds of civilians.
Celtic FC fans, who call themselves the Green Brigade, waved banners that said “Free Palestine” and “Victory to the resistance,” and held up Palestinian and Hamas flags at the weekend match against Kilmarnock at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland.
Green Brigade once again at the political forefront, with “Free Palestine” & “Victory to the Resistance” banners + Hamas Flag on display at the Celtic – Kilmarnock game today.
Sentiments that many on the left agree with but will not publicly declare. pic.twitter.com/IJH7vjhcLo
— The Fast Lovin’ Sin-Soaked Heathen (@fast_sin) October 7, 2023
Celtic FC said in a statement that the signs at Saturday’s game “do not represent the views of Celtic Football Club and we disassociate ourselves from them.”
“Celtic is a football club and not a political organization,” the team added. “One of our core values from inception is to be open to all regardless of race, color, politics or creed. That is why the club has always made clear that political messages and banners are not welcome at Celtic Park, or any match involving Celtic. At a time of loss and suffering for many, it is entirely inappropriate for any group of individuals to use Celtic Park as a vehicle for such messages.”
The club called on supporters to unite in backing their players while “respecting the rights and beliefs of others, particularly those whose lives are affected by violence and hatred.”
At least 800 Israelis have been murdered since the initial Hamas attack on Saturday and well over 100 others have been taken hostage by the terrorist organization. More Jews were murdered in the initial attack than on any other single day since the Holocaust.
Former Celtic player Nir Bitton, who is Israeli, issued his own response to the Green Brigade’s banners on Saturday evening. The athlete — who spent nine seasons with the Scottish team, winning nine Scottish Premiership titles — posted on his Instagram Stories a screenshot of the offensive banners and accused the fan group of being “brainwashed.”
He also wrote: “Shame on you! Yes, free Gaza from Hamas, not from Israel! Support terror organization that’s proudly celebrating the slaughtering of families is absolutely crazy! Embarrassing. Most of you don’t even know where Israel is. You have zero clue about this conflict and still act like you know everything.”
As a father of three, he continued, “I want to see how you react when your innocent kids get slaughtered and kidnapped in front of your eyes. And please don’t tell me this is what Israel do to Palestinians because this is far from being true.”