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Celtic fan banned for life after Dida attack
October 05, 2007 08:22 IST
A 27-year-old man who slapped AC Milan goalkeeper Dida during Wednesday's Champions league match at Celtic has been given a life ban by the Scottish club after owning up and being handed over to the police.
A statement on Celtic's web site (www.celticfc.net) on Thursday said the unnamed individual was in custody in Glasgow.
The incident at Celtic Park occurred just after Scott McDonald had scored a late goal to seal a 2-1 win for Celtic over the European champions in their Group D match.
Dida chased after the man then dramatically collapsed on the ground and was carried off on a stretcher after treatment.
Celtic face punishment from UEFA for the lapse of security at their stadium but Brazilian Dida could also be in trouble if he is judged to have simulated the extent of his injury.
Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said on its Web site: "Clearly, Celtic take this issue extremely seriously and it is satisfying that this individual has been identified so swiftly.
"The individual in question has now been banned for life from attending Celtic matches, both home and away.
"Our fans have a tremendous record of positive support for the club at home and abroad, something which has been recognised by both UEFA and FIFA, and we are sure this will continue."
The man disappeared into the crowd after the incident and Strathclyde Police had issued a statement earlier on Thursday appealing for him to turn himself in.
UEFA has a history of severely punishing this sort of offence but made no comment apart from its usual statement that it would wait for German referee Markus Merk's match report.
European soccer's governing body confirmed any case brought would be handled by its Control and Disciplinary Committee.
Milan said they would not appeal to have the match result annulled or replayed but UEFA can act on its own accord.
"We will not appeal. It is a decision that I have agreed with the president Silvio Berlusconi," Milan vice president Adriano Galliani told Rai TV. "It is a decision we have taken because we are European champions and must behave like that."
Celtic's delight at one of the greatest triumphs in their recent European history could be cut short if they have to forfeit the points, replay the match, face a heavy financial penalty or be expelled from the competition.
Nevertheless, it was another miserable night for Milan and Dida could also face UEFA's ire if the disciplinary body rules that the Brazilian was simulating any injury.
Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said of Dida: "It does not seem serious. Perhaps he has exaggerated. However, a fan should not be able to get on the pitch."
Whatever happens in UEFA's committee rooms, Milan cannot escape the fact that they endured a disappointing night in Glasgow to continue their stuttering start to the season.
"We are disappointed, I don't think we deserved to lose," Ancelotti told reporters.
Stephen McManus put Celtic ahead after 62 minutes and Kaka [Images] equalised with a penalty six minutes later before McDonald's late winner.
After two games Shakhtar Donetsk lead the group with six points followed by Celtic and Milan on three. Benfica are bottom with no points.
UEFA Champions League 2007-08: The Complete Coverage