UEFA fines Celtic $68,000 for political banners

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NYON, Switzerland (AP) -- UEFA has fined Celtic 50,000 euros ($68,000) after fans displayed a large political message before a Champions League game against AC Milan.

UEFA says the illicit banners breached its rules prohibiting political or religious statements at matches.

Celtic fans from the 'Green Brigade' group held up images of Scottish historical figure William "Braveheart" Wallace and Irish republican icon Bobby Sands, who died on a hunger strike in prison in 1981, at the Nov. 26 match.

Other banners included slogans reading: "The terrorist or the dreamer? The savage or the brave?"

Celtic traditionally draws fans from Catholic communities in Scotland and Ireland.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell criticized the Nov. 26 display as "clear disrespect for the club" and said it was a non-political organization.