Chants must stop, urges manager

CELTIC manager Neil Lennon has repeated his call for fans to stop the chants that have brought a Uefa charge against the club.

The European governing body instigated a charge of “illicit chanting” following songs sung during the Europa League win over Rennes on 3 November, while Celtic were reported to the Scottish Premier League over IRA chants heard during a goalless draw against Hibernian days earlier.

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Lennon urged fans to stop the chants in May, a call repeated by chief executive Peter Lawwell last month, and he again pleaded with them to stop embarrassing the club. “To be honest, we are better than that as a club and we always have been,” said Lennon. “We are and always have been a club open to all and we do not have issues around sectarianism. We have our own values and traditions but they do not include these chants. We don’t want them at matches and they must stop.”

The chants are believed to originate in a group calling themselves the Green Brigade, who occupy a small section of Celtic Park. “The irony is that the section of fans we are talking about have added a new dimension and vibrancy to Celtic Park,” Lennon said. “I feel that 95 per cent of what these fans bring to the game is positive and adds real atmosphere, but we need to make sure all the negative stuff is removed.”