Israeli police are warning Scottish soccer fans against waving Palestinian flags during tonight’s match between Celtic and the Israeli team Hapoel Be’er Sheva.
The warning comes amid repeated incidences of the Glasgow team’s fans demonstrating pro-Palestinan support, including the waving of more than 100 Palestinan flags during a soccer match against the Israeli team last week.
Should flags be pulled out during the upcoming game, which will take place in the Southern Israeli city Beersheba, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said they will be “confiscated immediately.”
“Obviously it won’t be allowed – that is for sure,” he told the Daily Record. “Police units will respond in order to ensure that the game will be a professional game and not a political one.”
The Union of European Football Associations bans any political expression during soccer matches, and has already issued the Celtic team a £15,000 fine for a past flag-waving incident.
Celtic fans have spring boarded off of UEFA’s fine by creating a GoFundMe page, aiming to raise money for Medical Aid Palestine and the Lajee Centre, a Palestinian cultural centre in Aida Refugee Camp.
“In response to this petty and politically partisan act by European football’s governing body,” the organizer wrote. “We are determined to make a positive contribution to the game and today launch a campaign to #matchthefineforpalestine.”
As of today, fundraising has reached £114,680 of its £120k goal.