Strict police operation in force in Glasgow as Celtic and Linfield meet for second time in six days

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths shows the referee a bottle of Buckfast thrown at him during Friday's first leg in Belfast. Picture by Matt Bohill
John Monaghan

A STRICT policing operation will be in force in Glasgow tonight as Linfield and Celtic meet for the second time in six days.

The clubs will be hoping there is no repeat of scenes which marred Friday's game in Belfast, with objects thrown at Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths as he attempted to take a corner.

Both clubs have been charged by UEFA, European football's governing body, in relation to several incidents during the match at Windsor Park.

Around 1,500 Linfield supporters are set to attend the game and Police Scotland have said there will be "a robust policing plan in place" after working closely with the PSNI in the build-up.

Celtic confirmed last week that all tickets have been sold for the clash, which will be screened live on Celtic TV, the club's subscription channel.

Linfield have been getting ready for the game by taking up an offer from Glasgow Rangers, Celtic's arch-rivals, to prepare at its new training centre.

Supporters have been reminded that police will be carrying out checks on coaches and mini-buses travelling to the match, and that being in possession of alcohol or drunk on board is an offence.

Police Scotland Superintendent Craig Smith said: "Plan your outing in advance, know your travel plans, drink responsibly and be aware of restrictions on what you can bring into the stadium.

"Anyone who is intent on causing disorder or hate crime can expect to be arrested by police."

Superintendent Smith added: "Let's keep this match focused on the football."

Linfield have issued specific instructions for those travelling to the match on its website, urging them to "do nothing to harm or damage the name of the club you are supporting".

The Belfast club has said that "any offensive chanting or the use of pyrotechnics will be severely dealt with" and reminded its supporters that they will be held back in Celtic Park for a period after the game.

Meanwhile, Linfield can expect to face a fine after its fans threw objects at Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths during Friday's match.

Glasgow Rangers were yesterday hit with a fine of €7,000 after supporters pelted items onto the Ibrox pitch during the Gers' Europa League game with Progres Niederkorn.

A number of fans hurled pieces of rolled-up paper at the opposition goalkeeper during Rangers' 1-0 first leg win on June 29.

The fine was confirmed in a brief statement by UEFA on its website yesterday.

Both Linfield and Celtic each face two charges arising out of Friday's tie, with Linfield sanctioned over a field invasion by its supporters at the end of the match in addition to the Griffiths incident.

The Celtic striker is accused of "provoking spectators" at the final whistle - when he tied a Celtic scarf to a goalpost - while the Scottish club is also charged with improper conduct after its players picked up five bookings.

In a statement after Friday's game, Linfield said there will be "serious and lasting consequences" for fans who threw objects at Griffiths.

UEFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body is due to deal with the case tomorrow.

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