UEFA have opened disciplinary proceedings against Celtic after fans unveiled an offensive banner relating to the Queen’s death during Wednesday’s match against Shakhtar Donetsk. European football’s governing body have opted against disciplining Rangers, however, after they ignored a ruling and sang the national anthem before their own Champions League clash.
Chelsea, Manchester City and Rangers all submitted a request to UEFA on the possibility of singing ‘God Save the King’ before their midweek fixtures. The requests were subsequently rejected on the basis that there were already plans in place to remove the Champions League anthem and hold a one-minute silence.
Rangers opted to go against UEFA’s wishes before their match with Napoli at Ibrox on Wednesday. The rousing rendition of the national them wasn’t enough to pull off an upset, however, as the Italian visitors left with a 3-0 victory.
Despite the act of defiance, UEFA spoke out on Thursday and stated: “The incident you refer to is not the subject of any UEFA disciplinary proceedings.”
Celtic, meanwhile, travelled to Warsaw to face Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk. In the opening stages of the game, BT Sport were forced to apologise after honing in on a banner that read: “F*** THE CROWN.”
UEFA have opted to take a different approach against Rangers’ bitter rivals, stating: “Please be informed that proceedings have been opened against Celtic regarding a banner displayed during their UEFA Champions League match against FC Shakhtar Donetsk played on 14 September in Warsaw. The UEFA disciplinary bodies will decide on the matter in due course.”
Celtic took the lead in Warsaw, which hosted Shakhtar’s ‘home’ tie due to ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, through an Artem Bondarenko own goal. In-demand winger Mykhaylo Mudryk equalised within half an hour but it was still a solid point earned for the Hoops, given that Shakhtar romped to a statement 4-1 victory at RB Leipzig last week.
After the game, manager Ange Postecoglou said: “The performance was excellent. Obviously the result was not reflective of that but I thought in the whole game the players gave everything and that’s all I can ask for. We needed that second goal and we had good chances to get it. From my perspective I can’t ask for more from them. We will get our rewards if we keep playing that kind of football and showing that sort of commitment.”
Rangers, meanwhile, shut Napoli out for the first hour at Ibrox but things began to fall apart when James Sands was sent off in the second half. Matteo Politano, Giacomo Raspadori and Tanguy Ndombele came up with three quickfire goals to seal a comfortable win for the visitors, consigning boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst to three defeats in a row.
“Until the red card we gave Napoli a really tough game,” said the Dutchman. “We were organised, good in the game and players were giving everything to get a good result. We created chances to open the scoring and it was a nice battle to see, but of course with the sending off we knew it was going to be difficult.
“Allan [McGregor] saved the penalty twice which was fantastic but the first goal we conceded made me change the way we were playing because we need to attack and you know you are going to get more space, so in the end I think the 3-0 defeat did not reflect the difference in quality.”