Celtic manager Ronny Deila has condemned fans who let off flares and fireworks at the Scottish Cup tie against Stranraer at Stair Park.
The latest in a long-running series of such incidents involving a section of the Celtic support saw pyrotechnics thrown onto the pitch from the west terrace as stewards and police attempted to maintain order. It soured an otherwise satisfying afternoon for the Scottish champions who eased to a 3-0 win with a double from Leigh Griffiths and a first Celtic goal for Carlton Cole.
Celtic have been fined severla times by Uefa for the use of flares by some of their fans, including at Udinese, Cliftonville, Dinamo Zagreb and Inter Milan in recent seasons. A further sanction is pending, for flares at last month’s Europa League match against Fenerbahce in Istanbul, and will go before Uefa’s control and disciplinary body on 18 February.
Yesterday’s incident comes under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA but Celtic are unlikely to face any punishment as the domestic governing body do not operate the same strict liability disciplinary system as Uefa.
Deila, however, is concerned at the damage being done to Celtic’s image by the repeated offences. He said: “We don’t want this. It’s something that is making a bad reputation for the club. So this is absolutely something we need to get stopped. It is not positive for anybody and we, as a club, don’t want to have anything to do with this.
“We’ve talked about it a lot and we have to get it away from this club. I’m not from here so I don’t know what kind of sanctions we could face.
“But what I can say is that it’s important we follow the rules and that people are safe when they come to football matches.
“That is why we have football as a cultural thing that everybody can be part of. Safety has to be the most important thing in every game we play.
“Everybody realises it’s something we have to get stopped and we’ll do everything we can to stop it.”
Rangers manager Mark Watburton, meanwhile, welcomed interest from south of the Border in striker MartinWaghorn – but was adamant won’t be going anywhere soon.
After the 25-year-old hit a hat-trick in a 5-1 Scottish Cup fourth-round win over Cowdenbeath at Ibrox to take his season tally to 25, Warburton said: “He can get better and better. He is on 25 goals in early January, so we are delighted. He is dealing with the expectation. The crowd expected him to deliver and he is doing that. The more attraction the player gets from down south the better, but the harder we will work to keep him here. They are enjoying their football, their families are settled. So for a player to leave : A it has to be the right move for him, and B it has to be on our terms and no one else’s.”