Celtic fans have raised over £80,000 for Palestinian charities in efforts to match an impending fine from UEFA for flying Palestinian flags during a Glasgow Celtic match against Israel’s Hapoel Beer Sheva team.
Update: 28/08/2016 – #MatchTheFineForPalestine has now raised almost £160,000, ear marked for donation to Medical Aid for Palestinians and the Lajee Centre from Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem.
The Green Brigade group of supporters started a page on the gofundme website on Sunday, with donations exceeding the group’s original goal and reaching £82,000 by Tuesday morning.
The money will be split equally between Medical Aid Palestine (MAP) and the Lajee Centre, a Palestinian cultural centre in Aida Refugee Camp on the outskirts of Bethlehem.
The appeal on the gofundme website read: “At the Champions League match with Hapoel Be’er Sheva on 17 August 2016, the Green Brigade and fans throughout Celtic Park flew the flag for Palestine. This act of solidarity has earned our club respect and acclaim throughout the world. It has also attracted a disciplinary charge from UEFA, which deems the Palestinian flag to be an ‘illicit banner’.
“In response to this petty and politically partisan act by European football’s governing body, we are determined to make a positive contribution to the game and today launch a campaign to #MatchTheFineForPalestine .”
“Let’s #MatchTheFineForPalestine and show the footballing establishment the true spirit of the game,” read the appeal.
This will be the football club’s second fine relating to Palestine. UEFA fined Celtic $18,000 in 2014 after fans waved Palestinian flags during a match against Iceland’s KR Reykjavik.