SFA charges John Guidetti over ‘offensive’ interview

Celtic striker John Guidetti has been charged by the Scottish Football Association with singing an allegedly “offensive” song about the demise of Old Firm rivals Rangers.

Celtic's John Guidetti was filmed singing what has been deemed an offensive song on Dutch television. Picture: SNS
Celtic's John Guidetti was filmed singing what has been deemed an offensive song on Dutch television. Picture: SNS

The on-loan Manchester City player has been issued with a notice of complaint after giving an interview to Dutch TV show FC Rijnmond.

In it, he repeats a chant sung about him by Celtic supporters: “Oh John Guidetti, puts the ball in the net-y, he’s a Super Swede and the huns are deid, walking in Guidetti wonderland.”

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Followers of Rangers claim the term “hun” is a sectarian slur, although supporters of other clubs oppose that viewpoint.

Celtic's John Guidetti was filmed singing what has been deemed an offensive song on Dutch television. Picture: SNS

SFA compliance officer Tony McGlennan has accused the 22-year-old Swede of breaching disciplinary rule 73, stating that “on or around March 6, 2015, you did in the course of a interview given to the Dutch Television Programme FC Rijnmond, make comment of an offensive nature”.

Guidetti has until 3pm on Monday next week to respond to the complaint. A principal hearing date has been set for Thursday 9 April.

A Celtic spokesman responded to the charge by saying: “We are very surprised and disappointed that this has even found its way to an SFA judicial panel. John Guidetti will be defending this charge.”

Celtic were also hit by a Uefa fine yesterday, when they were ordered to pay a penalty of just under £10,000 following the misbehaviour of both their players and fans during last month’s Europa League clash with Inter Milan.

The Parkhead club have been made to pay e8,000 (£5,861) after collecting five or more cautions during the 1-0 defeat to the Italians at San Siro.

They were also hit with a further e5,000 (£3,663) punishment after travelling supporters set off flares during the Round of 32 fixture, in which the Scottish champions crashed out after a 4-3 aggregate defeat. Inter have been fined e5,000 (£3,663) after Uefa’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body also found them guilty of breaching rules on flares.

Confirmation of Celtic’s firework charge last month came days after the Parkhead club had been fined e10,000 (£7,326) for a similar offence following December’s group match against Dynamo Zagreb in Croatia.

The club had appealed for fans to behave at the San Siro but pyrotechnics were evident in the visiting section.

It is the seventh time in little over three years that Celtic have faced Uefa punishment because of incidents involving their fans.

But Ronny Deila’s players have also got the club into trouble after being found guilty of “improper conduct’’ after collecting five yellows and a red.

In a statement, Celtic said: “Clearly Celtic Football Club is disappointed by today’s decisions. It should be noted that Celtic players have an excellent disciplinary record in European football over many years and in Scotland, Celtic has been top of the League’s disciplinary table for the last three years, something which we are rightly proud of.

“Again, it is disappointing that the actions of one or two individuals within a support of well over 3,000, have let the club down by using flares.

“Inter Milan and the local Italian authorities applauded our fans for their excellent conduct and positive support. Once again, however, the actions of these individuals have done nothing but damage the club they claim to support.

“Our fans have earned a wonderful reputation for their magnificent support of the club and we will not allow the safety of our fans, or their great reputation to be compromised by actions of this tiny minority.”