Glasgow & West Scotland

Celtic fan jailed for racist jibe at El Hadji Diouf

Sean Smith
Image caption Smith was jailed and banned from attending matches for five years

A Celtic fan who made monkey gestures towards Rangers player El Hadji Diouf during an Old Firm game has been jailed for three months.

Sean Smith, 19, from Spittal, South Lanarkshire, taunted the West African striker as he took a corner kick at Celtic Park on 20 February.

He admitted committing a racially aggravated breach of the peace after being reported by fellow Celtic fans.

Smith was also banned from attending football matches for five years.

Sentencing him at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Sheriff Lindsay Wood told Smith he had pleaded guilty to "despicable racist behaviour".

"You thought you were making a fool of the player but you were actually making a fool of yourself.

"You have brought shame on the club you support and on Scottish football generally."

Sheriff Wood noted that Smith had been drinking before the game, but said this was "no way to go to a football match and appreciate it".

He added: "I have to look at these matters in the context of an Old Firm match where tensions are running high and I can see no alternative to a custodial sentence to mark the court's disapproval of such behaviour."

Defence lawyer Raymond McIlwham told the court that his client has received death threats as a result of what he did.

He also added that Diouf has a bad relationship with Celtic fans.

Mr McIlwham said: "The relationship between the player involved and the Celtic fans has been a difficult one.

"That in no way excuses Mr Smith's actions but it's conceivable that another player may not have roused that level of passion in a supporter."

The lawyer added that his client is ashamed and now "deeply regrets" what he did.

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