A gauntlet of hate and gutter bile await Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic squad on Friday as they travel to Belfast just two days after the infamous July 12 celebrations.
When they got drawn against Linfield in their first Champions League qualifier it was the tie that raised a few eyebrows.
Celtic moved quickly to get the tie moved from it’s original date of July 12 and to refuse any away tickets on advice of the PSNI.
And despite the game being a complete mismatch on paper it’s clear this is no normal tie for Celtic who will be entering the most hostile and hate filled atmosphere they will more than likely ever have witnessed.
Anyone in any doubt would just have to take a look at some of the effigies that will be getting put on their bonfires tonight that include hanging of effigies wearing Celtic shirts, references to claims that Celtic covered up up child abuse since the 1880’s, references to KAI and KAT meaning kill all Irish and Kill all Taigs, racist attacks on Scott Sinclair and other racist references against blacks and muslims, and loads of sectarian and anti-IRA banners.
They even have a ‘fuck Mickey Bo’ flag in reference to a teenage boy who was beaten to death on his 15th birthday by a group of drunk men purely for being catholic.
On one flag it claims ‘weer not racist just don’t like cotton picking n****s or taigs’ and on another it say Scott Sinclair loves bananas.
Celtic will be hoping the game passes without incident and the players don’t let the hostile surroundings get on top of them.
Brendan Rodgers men are going into the game in top form after beating Shamrock Rovers 9-0 in a Dublin friendly last week as Linfield were losing 4-1 to Hearts in Belfast.
Celtic ultras group The Green Brigade and the Celtic Trust had asked Celtic to reverse the decision not to take tickets but the club stuck to their original plan.
In seeing some of the behaviour on show this week their motives can’t really be questioned as by the looks of things you could be mistaken for thinking Celtic were being sent to play a game in Alabama in the 1960’s rather than a part of the UK in 2017.
Police in Northern Ireland have confirmed they were investigating the banner aimed towards Scott Sinclair.
Were Celtic right to refuse tickets for the first leg match in Belfast ?
Let us know in the comments.