Celtic’s Champions League dream is alive and kicking after they beat Ajax 2-1 on Tuesday night, but it wasn’t a perfect night off the pitch in Glasgow.
Herald Scotland reports that fans at the ground tore up seats and threw them at figures of authority, whether it be stewards or police.
The report states:
One seat appeared to land on a line of stewards and police officers that were dividing the two sets of opposing fans.
Another showed around six ripped-out seats lying behind police officers after the final whistle in the match.
As a result of the violence, UEFA have charged Ajax, according to Sky Sports, and the Dutch club can expect some sort of punishment from the sport's European governing body as a result:
The trouble is said to have started when Celtic scored the opening goal of the night through James Forrest, according to Craig Swan of the Daily Record.
Swan claims a group of Ajax fans tried to move towards their Celtic counterparts, forcing stewards to intervene.
The scale of the problem has been downplayed by police, who also had to deal with issues prior to kick-off. Herald Scotland quotes superintendent Brian McInulty:
Officers have dealt with some instances of disorder, however the police response has been immediate and officers have quickly got the situation under control.
We are experienced in dealing with major events and there is a significant policing operation in place to deal with any issues which may arise both at the ground and in the city.
The violent scenes witnessed in Glasgow, attributed to Ajax by Swan, threaten to stain the image of a club usually known for exemplary behaviour in Europe.
Ajax are rarely associated with episodes of crowd trouble and are admired throughout Europe as one of the continent’s great clubs, having won the European Cup four times.
Celtic will hope the scenes are not repeated when they head to Amsterdam for the rematch on Nov. 6.
Any underlying tension between the two sets of fans will carry the threat of simmering to the surface, particularly when the teams meet twice over such a short space of time.
However, Celtic’s focus needs to be on repeating their victory. They are now two points behind AC Milan in the group, knowing the Italians visit Barcelona in their next game.
Neil Lennon’s men will hope they can leapfrog Milan on Matchday 4 before the Serie A club visit Celtic Park for what could prove the decisive collision in the group.
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