Celtic fans awarded prestigious FIFA accolade
By James Black
Celtic fans have been recognised by FIFA as ‘The Best’ supporters for their ‘Lisbon Lions’ tribute before the final game of last season at Parkhead, it has been confirmed.
The Hoops fans held up cards reading ‘Lisbon Lions’ and showing an image of the European Cup to mark fifty years since they became the first British side to lift the trophy.
The tifo took place on the same day Brendan Rodgers’ side were awarded the Scottish Premiership trophy in May and the Hoops announced the news on their official Twitter account on Monday night.
— Celtic Football Club (@celticfc) October 23, 2017
Celtic beat off competition from FC Copenhagen and Borussia Dortmund supporters to win the award – voted for by fans on FIFA’s website.
Bhoys chairman Ian Bankier accepted the award on behalf of fans – and paid a glowing tribute to the ‘Lisbon Lions’ and their manager Jock Stein.
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“I want to thank FIFA, I want to thank all the fans who voted for us but the display that won was for a team of players who all grew up within a few miles of Celtic FC in Glasgow and were coached by a man who was a legend,” Bankier said at the ceremony in London, as quoted by Glasgow Live.
“He was born in the East of Scotland and started his working career going down mines, mining for coal and he said to us in these days ‘A club is nothing without its fans’ and that philosophy we take to heart and that drives everything we do so it is on behalf of our fans, and all the fans across the world that I accept this honour with the gratitude and humility.”
Celtic actually banned a large section of their supporters following their conduct during the display – flares were lit by a number of fans – and received a fine from UEFA hours before winning the FIFA award after a fan attempted to attack Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe during the side’s Champions League clash in September.
The ‘Lisbon Lions’ became the first British side to lift the European Cup when they defeated Inter Milan in Lisbon in 1967.