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21.02.2008 11:33

Sporting behaviour

Sergi Nogueras

The fans of Glasgow Celtic and FC Barcelona behaved perfectly before, during and after the match, setting an example of sporting behaviour.

The knockout rounds of the Champions League inevitably create matches of great tension and emotion. But that doesn’t mean that the opposing fans can’t show by their behaviour that a healthy rivalry is possible and that football is, above all, a sport. Full of passion but a sport. Lat night, the 60,000 Celtic fans and the nearly 2,000 Barça fans packed into Celtic Park gave a perfect display of good behaviour and sportsmanship.

Before the match...

af_03.jpgBefore the match, the two sets of fans mixed freely around the stadium. Ten minutes before kick-off, a welcoming address was read over the loudspeakers in Catalan, emphasising the good relations that have always existed between the fans of the two clubs.

At the end of this speech, the Barça hymn was played and listened to with respect by the home fans and sung loudly by the Barça contingent. This was followed by ‘You'll never walk alone' and the stadium was filled with the colours of the scarves, ready for a great night of football.

...and after the match

At the end of the match, with the players already back in the dressing rooms, the Barça fans started to chant ‘Celtic, Celtic' and the few remaining Scottish supporters responded with a sincere ‘Barça, Barça'. The Barça players’ bus was also given a warm send-off by the local fans. A fantastic example of good sportsmanship.
Sporting behaviour
More on 4th March
The two sets of fans will meet up again for the second leg in Barcelona on 4th March. It will be a chance for thousands of Celtic fans to visit our city and continue to display the friendship that unites them with the Barça fans.

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