Celtic '˜surprised' by Northern Ireland police statement

Police have distanced themselves from the decision to stop Celtic fans buying tickets for tomorrow's Champions League clash against Linfield in Belfast.

Celtic will face Linfield in Belfast on Friday. Picture: /Brian Little/INPHO/Presseye

The Police Service of Northern Ireland issued a statement which caused surprise at Celtic Park.

The brief statement on the force’s Twitter account read: “Contrary to some reports, the decision of Celtic FC not to accept their allocation of ‘away’ tickets for the game against Linfield in Belfast was a decision taken solely by the football club and was not made by PSNI.”

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Celtic revealed shortly after the draw for the second qualifying round that no tickets would be available for the first leg for their supporters.

In response to the police statement, Celtic wrote on their Twitter account: “We are extremely surprised by this statement and the timing of the release.

“This is clearly not our understanding of the situation and we stand by our statement of 23rd June. We feel there is nothing to be gained by commenting further until the tie has been played.”

Celtic’s earlier statement read: “No tickets will be available for Celtic supporters for the match. The safety and security of all Celtic supporters travelling and attending matches is of paramount importance to the club.”

The match is being played tomorrow instead of on 11 or 12 July as initially planned to avoid clashing with Orange Order parades.