Flags and banners "have been barred" from Scottish Premiership side Celtic's Boxing Day game at St. Johnstone "because police fear another fireworks display," according to Hugh Keevins of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. On Sunday, "insiders" stressed that the "reason for the ban was to prevent supporters sneaking in flares and smoke bombs, rather than a reaction to the Green Brigade's controversial William Wallace/Bobby Sands banner in the Champions League clash with AC Milan." A section of Celtic supporters "caused mayhem at Motherwell" on Dec. 6 when they "let off 18 smoke bombs, three fireworks and a flare, with banners and flags said to shield the culprits." Thursday's match in Perth will be a "calendar year to the day since the Celtic fans were heavily criticised for their serious misbehaviour at Dens Park." Police in Perth on Sunday stated that "a repeat of any bother could result in prison time rather than family time for any offenders at McDiarmid Park." Police Superintendent Kevin Lynch said, "Those attending the game, as well as the local community, can rest assured we'll deal effectively with any incidents and put offenders before the courts. That could mean a spell in custody for offenders at a time when I’m sure they’d prefer to be with friends and family" (DAILY RECORD, 12/23).
UEFA "punished a handful of clubs for failing to meet payments and threatened to exclude them from continental competitions," according to the AFP. Metalurg Donetsk of Ukraine, Petrolul Ploiesti of Romania and Skonto Riga of Latvia were all told that they would be "excluded from participating in the next UEFA club competition for which they would otherwise qualify on their results or standing in the next three seasons," unless they are able to prove by Jan. 31 that they have paid the amounts that were identified as overdue payables on Sept. 30. The clubs "were also issued with fines" ranging from $54,700-$109,394 (AFP, 12/21).
The Association of Indonesian Professional Football Players (APPI) said that six football players have taken legal recourse and have reported their respective clubs to the All Indonesia FA (PSSI) for its "failure to pay the players overdue salaries," according to Haikal Pasha of the JAKARTA GLOBE. The APPI said that "the six footballers were from five clubs and that the report to the PSSI was the first step in the legal process." The association identified the plaintiffs as Charis Yulianto and Agung Suprayogi, who have yet to receive their pay for the '11-12 season from the Malang-based Arema Indonesia Club. Other plaintiffs included Aidin Elmi, "who is owed money by the Raja Ampat Persiram Club, Talauhu Abdul Musafiri, from the Perseman Club in Manokwari, Denhy Rumba, from PSMS Medan, and Lucky Diokpara, from the Persiko club in Tanjung Jabung Barat in Jambi province" (JAKARTA GLOBE, 12/23).
Barcelona has sent "Neymar's contracts to Audiencia Nacional judge Pablo Ruz, so that he can decide if he will allow the action brought by club member Jordi Cases against club president Sandro Rosell" for the "undue appropriation of funds during the signing" (MARCA, 12/23). ... Police said on Monday that EPL West Ham defender James Tomkins "has been charged with resisting arrest and being drunk and disorderly after an incident at a nightclub." The 24-year-old was "arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning at a nightclub in his home town of Brentwood, just outside London" (REUTERS, 12/23).