Celtic fans who have booked up for Rome are facing another night of frustration as the case against Lazio fans for making Nazi salutes goes to another day.
UEFA is not exactly having a good day.
Reeling from the events in Bulgaria last night, they had to open an investigatory case into the game today and tonight have lodged formal notice that they will be disciplining both the home side and England.
The latter team is being taken to task for their fans disrespect of the home sides national anthem.
Lazio are believed to have told UEFA that they think a ground closure would adversely impact away fans who have paid for trips and tickets; this is a little bit disingenuous of them, but it is doubtless the case that Celtic fans would be punished if they were unable to go.
The case was initially supposed to be heard on 17 October, when Celtic’s own case for flares and fireworks is being decided, but it was brought forward.
The hope was that our fans would know the situation by the close of business tonight, but that’s not the case.
Over 9000 tickets are available to Celtic supporters, and the number of fans who will travel over to Rome, and who have already booked flights and hotels, is probably well in excess of that.
Whilst the club will reimburse anyone who goes through official channels and uses the Travel Club, those other fans are all likely to be left out of pocket entirely should Lazio’s ground be closed for the night.
Rome is a good place to visit, and doubtless those who go over will find a way to enjoy themselves, but not getting into the ground would be a big blow.
As odd as it seems, we’re hoping the racists and bigots of Lazio get off with a slap on the wrist … or a punishment that affects some other bunch of away fans.
It’s not a nice position for us to be in, but our club comes first.
It’s a sign of how bad things are in European football just now.
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