Thu, 29 Sep 2022

Glasgow Celtic supporters chanted "If you hate the royal family clap your hands" ahead of a match against St Mirren

Celtic supporters sang an anti-British monarchy chant during a minute's applause to honor the memory of Queen Elizabeth II ahead of their 2-0 defeat against St Mirren in the Scottish Premier League on Sunday.

Leading up to kick-off, traveling fans of the club founded by Irish immigrants in Glasgow in 1887 chanted: "If you hate the royal family clap your hands," while holding up a banner proclaiming the same message in a stand behind one of the goals at St Mirren Park in Paisley.

Celtic fans had expected the planned applause after it was confirmed by St Mirren. This came despite Celtic becoming the focus of UEFA disciplinary proceedings, when their fans displayed another banner that read "F*ck the Crown" during a 1-1 Champions League Group F draw with Shaktar Donetsk in Poland on Wednesday.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou made an appeal to fans to respect the tribute in his pre-match conference before his side took on St Mirren.

"I have the same message to our fans that we always have. As I said before the game [against Shakhtar], we will abide by the protocols. We wore black armbands on Wednesday night," Postecoglou noted.

"I think there's a minute's applause [on Sunday], we will abide by whatever obligations and responsibilities we have as a football club. We will do that in a respectful manner. We want our supporters to do the same," he added.

Celtic fans went home with a bitter taste in their mouths after suffering their first defeat of the season thanks to goals from Mark O'Hara and Jonah Ayunga that sentenced the reigning Scottish champions to their first defeat in 2022/2023. For St Mirren, it was the first time they had beaten their opponents in the top flight since March 2010.

The incident wasn't the only one of its kind to occur in Scotland this weekend, however. On Saturday, Dundee United supporters disrupted a minute's silence at the Ibrox home of Celtic's bitter rivals Rangers, whose fans are known for their use of the Union Jack and sworn loyalty to the monarchy.

Before the royal anthem God Save the King was played, boos and derogatory chants were heard coming from the away end, with Dundee later insisting they "reached out to advise our supporters of the pre-match arrangements with the expectation that the minute silence would be observed" ahead of the match Rangers won 2-1.

Over in Edinburgh at Easter Road, boos and chants were also audible during the minute's applause before hosts Hibernian beat Aberdeen 3-1.

Matches were played in Scotland this weekend for the first time since the Scottish Football Association (SFA) postponed all games after the death of Queen Elizabeth, who passed away aged 96 last week.

On Monday, the SFA released a joint statement alongside the Scottish Professional Football League, which gave clubs the option of choosing how to pay tribute to the Queen.

"This week, as a mark of respect and in keeping with the period of national mourning, home clubs may wish to hold a period of silence and/or play the national anthem just ahead of kick-off, and players may wish to wear black armbands," the two bodies suggested.

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