Celtic fans attacked in Madrid ahead of the Champions League duel against Atlético Madrid

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Despite the group’s recent ban, a Green Brigade banner was also visible at Atlético’s away game at the Metropolitano Stadium

Celtic fans face rival fans ahead of Champions League clash in Madrid

Celtic fans claim they were attacked by hooligans in a bar in Madrid ahead of their Champions League clash against Atletico, where Palestinian flags were once again defiantly displayed.

A Green Brigade banner was also visible at Atlético’s away game at the Metropolitano Stadium, although the group was recently banned from attending matches.

Celtic have been insisting for weeks that “political messages and banners” are not welcome, after initially flying the “Free Palestine” and “Victory to the Resistance” flags.

Shortly before kick-off of the completely one-sided Champions League game, at least ten Palestinian flags were held up again. In a miserable evening for the Scottish Premiership leaders, Celtic were ultimately beaten 6-0 by a vastly superior Atlético side.

On the pitch, Celtic were clearly second best two weeks after an entertaining draw against the Spanish side

Reports had previously emerged of tensions between supporters in Madrid – although there was no indication the clashes were linked to Palestinian protests.

Mark O’Donnell, 61, told the Glasgow Times He was taken to hospital after rival fans stormed a bar in the La Latina district barrio.

Celtic fans hold up Palestinian flags during the UEFA Champions League Group E soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Celtic at Civitas Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, November 7, 2023. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu via Getty Images)

O’Donnell said he had been watching previous games on television with his two sons, Michael and Christy, when about 20 opposing fans entered the ground. One of the attackers is said to have asked: “Are you Celtic?” before the group started throwing punches.

“I have cuts on my leg and hands, Christy has cuts on her head and Michael had cuts on his hand and received eight stitches,” he said. “Michael met another man in hospital who was older than me and was also attacked. He was hit in the face with a bottle and required multiple stitches to his face.”

More than 3,300 Celtic fans traveled to Madrid for the game, which was reportedly deemed “high risk” by authorities in Spain.

Last week Celtic banned the Green Brigade from attending matches after the group defied the club’s stance due to political gestures. The Ultras group traditionally organizes a tifo – a choreographed performance with a large banner or image – but has recently started waving Palestinian flags instead. The group had distributed Palestinian flags, which were waved during the recent 2-2 draw against Atlético at Celtic Park.

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