Celtic fined by UEFA over banner and chanting

By Sports Desk November 22, 2019

Celtic have been fined €15,000 (£12,886) by UEFA for obsence chanting and displaying an "illicit banner" in their Europa League win against Lazio at Celtic Park last month.

Home supporters unveiled several banners ahead of the game, including one depicting former Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini hanging upside down.

Another contained a message in Italian that translated to "f*** off".

UEFA's control, ethics and disciplinary body has also fined Lazio €10,000 (£8,593) for "illicit chanting" during the meeting on October 24, which Celtic won 2-1.

Meanwhile, Club Brugge have been fined €14,000 for breaching safety regulations by blocking the stairways during their home Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain a month ago.

Ligue 1 champions PSG have been told to pay €50,000 and threatened with a one-match away ban for supporters if they offend again in the next 12 months after setting off fireworks in the same match.

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    Memphis Depay lashed out at Lyon supporters after confronting a fan who brandished a banner insulting defender Marcelo following the draw against RB Leipzig.

    Lyon edged through to the Champions League's last 16 as goals from Houssem Aouar and star winger Depay completed a second-half fightback, but the achievement was overshadowed by the unsavoury events that followed the final whistle.

    An individual crossed the advertising hoarding and unfurled a flag featuring an image of a donkey that read: "Marcelo leave the club".

    Depay, the captain, ran over and attempted to rip the banner out of the fan's hands, before he was restrained by team-mate Jason Denayer.

    In an emotional post-match interview, he told RMC Sport: "Look at my eyes, what do you see? I am furious, angry. I do not know what to say.

    "It was not our best game, but we qualified. The players on the pitch gave everything. We played with our hearts and we qualified.

    "It is extremely difficult for us knowing someone on the team has problems with the fans, that he's not supported.

    "What do you expect from our team? That we're going to go over and thank them? They say crazy things about someone's family, someone's children. I have no words."

    He continued: "Frankly, I have to be a little bit careful. It reminds me of my past. I do not want to be that man any longer. I have matured, I am calmer.

    "It has no meaning if we cannot celebrate with the fans after the game. As a team, we trust the player, we trust the fans, but they do not trust the team. It hurts to leave the field like this.

    "I ran over to try to remove the banner. Who has time to paint a donkey on a flag? If you have time for that, you really have to do something better with your life.

    "If you come to the stadium to support us we appreciate it, but you have to appreciate everyone. They have spat on us, on some staff members, some players. I have never seen anything like this."

    Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas said he would seek talks with supporters and vowed to "take sanctions".

    "I'm focused on the qualification," Aulas added.

    "It's a shame some fans wanted to spoil the party. We had a regrettable incident after the match but Memphis showed he is an incredible captain who defends his team-mates."

  • Benfica 'deserved a bit more' after finishing third in Group G, says Pizzi Benfica 'deserved a bit more' after finishing third in Group G, says Pizzi

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    The Portuguese team signed off the group stage with an emphatic 3-0 win over Zenit on Tuesday.

    It was a victory which ensured they will play European football next year, albeit in the second-tier competition, courtesy of their superior head-to-head record with Zenit.

    However, Pizzi claimed what they showed overall across the campaign should have led to a spot in the last 16, with RB Leipzig and Lyon instead progressing to the next stage.

    "I think that we deserved a bit more in this competition," Pizzi told reporters after their triumph over Zenit.

    "It was not these last two games that dictated this outcome. In this last game, we could no longer look back. 

    "We wanted to play and win this game and that's what we did. We won convincingly."

    Pizzi provided the assist for Benfica's opening goal, scored by Franco Cervi, and then found the net himself from the penalty spot.

    The 30-year-old has enjoyed a fruitful season in Europe and has scored in three of his last four Champions League games for Benfica, having failed to score in any of his first 33 appearances in the competition.

    "I am in a very good phase. Fortunately, things have gone well," he added.

    "I have support from the whole structure at Benfica. Our dressing room is strong and united, we all row for the same side. It's everyone's work that is involved here.

    "Once again, I was able to help the team with an assist and a goal, but the most important thing is the team's victory."

    Benfica head coach Bruno Lage shared Pizzi's sentiment of frustration that they were not able to progress.

    He said: "Could we have gone further? Yes. But we have to come to the games without negative emotions of the past, whatever the competition."

    Despite their own lacklustre display, Zenit looked set to qualify for the knockout stage ahead of Lyon, only for an equaliser from Memphis Depay and send the Ligue 1 side through.

    The result, combined with their own loss, means Zenit finish at the bottom of the final table.

    Head coach Sergei Semak said: "Everyone did know the result of the other match at half-time when RB Leipzig led 2-0 at Lyon. 

    "But I don't think it influenced our performance, made them relax or anything. It's all about the mistakes we made on the pitch."

  • Conte insists he has 'no complaints' despite rueing finishing in costly Barca defeat Conte insists he has 'no complaints' despite rueing finishing in costly Barca defeat

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    Inter needed to at least match Borussia Dortmund's result against Slavia Prague, but the Germans claimed a 2-1 victory and the Nerazzurri did not do enough in San Siro.

    Despite early dominance and a flurry of chances, Inter found themselves trailing in the 23rd minute when Carles Perez swept home in composed fashion.

    Romelu Lukaku equalised before half-time, but he was otherwise wasteful and Ansu Fati, 17, secured Barca the three points four minutes from time to become the youngest Champions League scorer in history.

    Conte acknowledged Inter had enough clear-cut opportunities to beat Barca.

    "We had the chances to win the game, we created those opportunities, but lacked that clinical edge to convert them," he told reporters.

    "I have no complaints to make, as my players gave their all. We just lacked a goal and instead conceded at the other end to go 2-1 down, which really killed us.

    "Watching that Ansu Fati goal is painful, as it killed us in every way. We were pushing, creating the chances to score and go 2-1 up.

    "I was also disappointed for the fans in San Siro, as they pushed us from start to finish and created a wonderful atmosphere. It should've ended differently.

    "I think we deserved more in this group. Still, I think it's all valuable experience. We wanted to qualify, so there is disappointment from everyone right now, but as I told them, we have to raise our heads again."

    Inter finished third in the group, meaning they will drop into the Europa League in the New Year. They will find out their next opponents in Monday's draw.

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