CELTIC have responded to an outrageous slur from Israel boss Alon Hazan that the club’s fans are “known to be anti-Semitic”.
The international team chief made the shocking claim in an Israeli news outlet when he spoke out about Liel Abada’s situation at the champions.
The unfounded allegation is made at the time Celtic have suspended a group of ultras from a section of the stadium after the Parkhead club cited six counts of unacceptable behaviour.
The Hoops insist the ban is NOT connected with flying the Palestine flag, but they did ask for all Hoops fans not to display “banners, flags and symbols” at the ground relating to the Israel-Hamas conflict, as CQN reported last week.
JOY BHOYS…Liel Abada congratulates Kyogo Furuhashi after his matchwinner at Ibrox in early September.
However, their pleas were ignored by many of the group before and during the home Champions League match against Atletico Madrid with UEFA certain to take punitive action against the club.
Hazan, the national team chief, told homeland media outlet Ynet: “I don’t want to put myself in Abada’s shoes.
“He did sacred work in his national service and asked Celtic’s manager to issue a condemnation against the fans who are known to be anti-Semitic despite there being many Israeli players at the club.”
In reply to Hazan’s comments, a Celtic spokesperson is quoted in the media as saying: “Any suggestion that the Celtic support is anti-Semitic is totally inaccurate.
“Celtic is a diverse club, proud to be open to all, ever since its formation in 1888.
“Everyone at Celtic Football Club continues to give Liel our full support.”
ON THE BALL…Liel Abada is a rare first-team outing this season.
Abada, a fans’ favourite since arriving at Parkhead in a £3million move from Maccabi Petah Tikva in July 2021, recently signed an extension until the summer of 2027.
The goalscoring winger, who turned 22 last month, was injured during international duty in September and is expected to be out until the middle of next month.
After agreeing a new contract, Abada said: “I’m really happy. Celtic is a big club with big fans and I love the club.”