Celtic v AC Milan - UEFA Champions League

UEFA, Celtic act after pro-IRA tifo at Champions League game


UEFA and Celtic are reacting in unison to pro-Irish Republican Army banners unveiled by the club’s fans at Tuesday’s Champions League match against Milan. There, in the section occupied by the Green Brigade supporters group, tifo equating IRA activist Bobby Sands with Scottish revolutionary William Wallace was unveiled during Tuesday’s pre-mathc ceremonies.

“The terrorist or the dreamer,” the display asks, individual lyrics appearing around large portraits of Wallace and Sands. “The savage or the brave? Depends whose vote you’re trying to catch or whose face you’re trying to save.”

According to reports from the United Kingdom, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell has “demanded fans leave their political views at home,” noting the actions of a few have landed the club in hot water with UEFA:

“Last night was nothing more than clear disrespect for the club and our supporters, who now face another Uefa charge … There have now been a number of Uefa charges made against the club during the last three years, relating to behaviour, displays and pyrotechnics – it cannot go on any further.

“Let’s be very clear. Following the actions of a small minority, these charges are made against the club. It is the reputation of Celtic, our great club and our great fans which is damaged …

“Regardless of the political views people hold, football stadia, whether it is Celtic Park or anywhere else, should not be used to promote these …

“The club don’t want it, our manager and our team don’t want it, our supporters don’t want it and the football authorities don’t want it – it has to stop.”

According to the report, Celtic face a potential fine for what UEFA’s called an “illicit banner.”

Celtic lost the match, 3-0, ending their chances to reach Champions League’s knockout round or qualify for Europe League.

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.