'Hugely offensive and a disgraceful accusation': Celtic answer after being criticised by anti-discrimination charity

Celtic have defiantly answered accusations by an anti-discrimination charity of failing to condemn racial abuse directed at Nir Bitton.

Celtic star Nir Bitton was the victim of racial abuse online. Picture: SNS
Celtic star Nir Bitton was the victim of racial abuse online. Picture: SNS

The Israeli international defender was the victim of anti-Semitic insults on social media after he was sent off in Celtic’s 1-0 defeat to rivals Rangers in the Old Firm clash at Ibrox.

Action Against Discrimination released a statement earlier this week where they said the lack of action from both Celtic and the Scottish FA in terms of condemning the posts was “deplorable and unacceptable”.

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However, the Parkhead club say they have forwarded the “vile content” to the police and did not believe it was right to comment at this stage of the investigation.

They also firmly distanced themselves from the actions of “faceless and nameless” individuals who do not represent an institution which has “always stood firm against bigotry and racism”.

A spokesperson said: “Since its formation in 1888, Celtic has been a club open to all people, with a renowned tradition and ethos of openness and diversity.

“Celtic has forwarded this vile content to the police and considers that everything should be done to identify those responsible and that all appropriate action should be taken. Nir Bitton and his family have our full support. We do not believe that it is appropriate to comment further at this stage in connection with this matter.

“Let us be very clear, those responsible for such vile comments do not represent Celtic or Celtic supporters. They are faceless and nameless.

“For certain people to suggest that such comments represent the views of Celtic Football Club is hugely offensive and a disgraceful accusation we take extremely seriously. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“Celtic has always stood firmly against bigotry and racism in all its forms and it is hugely unfair to hold Celtic responsible for the conduct of whoever this may be.

“Social media unfortunately has become a vehicle for some of the worst behaviours, indeed, sadly, our own club, staff and supporters are often the subject of bigotry and racial abuse.

“All content of this kind must be challenged and condemned.”

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