BT Sport were forced to apologise after showing Celtic fans’ offensive Queen banner as their players wore black armbands in tribute.
The Old Firm rivals were responsible for some of football’s most extreme responses yet to the passing of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, with Celtic supporters displaying banners that read ‘F*ck The Crown’ and ‘Sorry for your loss Michael Fagan’ during their 1-1 draw against Shakhtar Donetsk which was played at Legia Warsaw’s Stadion Wojska Polskiego.
Commentator Rob MacLean said: “Apologies if anyone has taken offence to anything seen in the early minutes.” Shakhtar, based in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, have been forced to play away from their home stadium since 2014 due to conflict in the region.
Shame on the Glasgow #Celtic fans who insulted #TheQueen at their match tonight. Among their foul abuse, they held up a banner praising the intruder who entered Her Majesty’s bedroom at Buckingham Palace. #royal pic.twitter.com/NI8Zx16cRI
— Richard Eden (@richardaeden) September 14, 2022
The latter was a sarcastic reference to an intruder who got into the late Queen’s Buckingham Palace bedroom around 40 years ago.
But it was Rangers who put themselves at most risk of punishment after playing the national anthem on Ibrox’s PA system before their own match against Napoli.
That followed UEFA’s snub of a request by the Glasgow outfit for them to be allowed to do so, with Chelsea and Manchester City seeing similar pleas turned down as well.
The defiant playing of the anthem at Ibrox following an approved minute’s silence was greeted by loud singing of it, some sang God Save The Queen and others went for the updated version God Save The King.
Fans in a stand behind one of the goals also held up coloured cards to create a massive Union Jack flag with the late Queen’s silhouette in the middle, while the anthem was followed by an impromptu rendition from the crowd of Rule Britannia.
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Chelsea and City didn’t defy UEFA although fans of the former club could be heard singing the anthem before the players entered the field.
Pre-match tributes at Stamford Bridge saw a touching moment with the Chelsea Pensioners laying wreaths on the field, while fans of opponents Red Bull Salzburg had earlier walked in silence to the ground from Earl’s Court as a mark of respect.
Rangers had made no secret of their plans before kick-off, saying in a statement: “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be honoured this evening at Ibrox with a minute’s silence, a display created by the Union Bears, and a rendition of the national anthem.”
The Group A match had been moved back a day due to a lack of police resources related to the late Queen’s death, with no Napoli fans allowed at the match.
There was no minute’s silence at Celtic’s Group F game in Poland after they chose not to request one, while not all their players wore black armbands.
UEFA had already announced no anthems – including its own Champions League one – would not be played at European matches in the UK this week as part of efforts to ensure a “subdued” atmosphere.
The Premier League say the national anthem would be played at its games this weekend following minute’s silences in honour of the late Queen, with screens also to show images of her and flags at stadiums flying at half-mast.
Fans have been invited to applaud her 70-year reign in the 70th minute of games.
Tributes paid during football matches in the UK on Tuesday night witnessed only a minority of catcalls or other interruptions.
A few matches since the late Queen’s death last Thursday have been marred by offensive behaviour, most notably at Shamrock Rovers.
Bayern Munich fans also held up banners protesting at disruption caused to football by the commemorations and some Wrexham fans booed their own minute’s silence.
During Bayern’s 2-0 Champions League victory over Barcelona on Tuesday night, a banner in the stands read: “Last minute match delays and bans because of a royal’s death?! Respect fans!”
Bayern Munich fans have brought out a banner protesting against the impact of Queen Elizabeth II’s death on football fixtures!
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) September 13, 2022
Although Bayern had not been directly affected, the reference appeared to be to British football coming to a standstill last weekend.
In England, the EFL and National Leagues all staged pre-match silences on Tuesday night – but a minority of supporters undermined commemorations at Liverpool and Wrexham by booing.
Fans jeering at the Racecourse Ground’s Kop end were shouted down, however, with the vast majority observing the silence before the National League home game against Dagenham and Redbridge.
Twitter users gave their reaction with BT Sport forced to apologise after showing Celtic fans’ offensive Queen banner…
@FezzaRFC: Don’t understand what their beef is with Netflix, it’s bizarre.
@ShakersBen: Bet they’ll all take the bank holiday on Monday though. Cunts.
@Hammer_GDM: Utter filth as a club and their entire support
@ScttC72: Scotland’s Shame
@howudiddling: The shame of Scotland and reason games called off at weekend as they were at home and could not be trusted to behave.
@stevensizer2: Vile club
@RMcCarthy98: Even worse than Liverpool this lot absolute vermin
@Clembo1957: No class whatsoever
@Dan_Baz_Collier: When people ask why football got cancelled last week. Blame these cunts and the scousers who couldn’t even just show an ounce of respect. Offended by everything ashamed of nothing
@bill_fyfe: Any Englishman who like celtic may want to look at this and reconsider their choices. Whether, you’re a royalist or not and I am far from it. This is abhorrent
@hairbearbunch73: Classless w*****s
@GarySmithJnr: I’ve always had a soft spot for Celtic, because of my best friends Dad being a huge fan and my love of Ireland. The behaviour of both the Celtic and Rangers fans, towards the Queen’s passing this week has slightly changed my feelings. Fantastic tribute from Rangers here. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
@TheRealBigMurdy: To those of you in England who support this lot I hope you have had your eyes opened this past week
@pvfcalex: And this is why Rangers are the best team in Scotland
@LewisStubbs1302: Sums them up really
@CFC_CS: Compare this with the dignified and respectful behaviour from the Salzburg lot tonight. Vile club.
@cheltcanary: Celtic scum. 😡😡😡
The difference between Celtic & Rangers fans summed up… pic.twitter.com/sZwC1FtUsF
— David Christie (@CookieDave55) September 14, 2022