Belfast city centre shirt warning for Celtic fans

Image caption,
Glasgow Celtic players train at Solitude on Tuesday

Glasgow Celtic football fans have been urged not to wear club colours in Belfast city centre on Wednesday.

The advice has come from officials of Cliftonville FC, who play the Scottish side in a UEFA Champions League game.

Cliftonville director David Begley said: "Belfast city centre is a very welcoming place.

"But people are very sensitive about colours, not just this week. As a result, it´s probably best to avoid wearing colours into the city centre."

The sides meet in a second qualifying round, first leg game at Cliftonville's Solitude ground in north Belfast. Kick-off is 19:45 BST on Wednesday.

Hundreds of Celtic fans are expected to travel to Northern Ireland for the game.

Mr Begley added: "This has nothing to do with politics, it's the same sort of advice Manchester United fans would be given about walking about Liverpool on a match day."

Image caption,
The mural was vandalised just before Cliftonville's game against Glasgow Celtic

The advice comes after five nights of unrest in parts of the city after an Orange Order parade was banned from marching on a stretch of the Crumlin Road in north Belfast that separates loyalist and nationalist communities.

Meanwhile, a recently finished wall mural close to Solitude celebrating Cliftonville's Irish League title success last season has been defaced by vandals.

The artwork had ICF and Section F sprayed on it in black paint sometime on Tuesday night.

ICF is thought to be a reference to a group of hardcore supporters who follow Glasgow Rangers and Section F a reference to a group of Linfield supporters in the 1980s and 1990s.

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