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Celtic turn down tickets for Linfield match in Belfast amid safety fears

Celtic will not take up their ticket allocation for next month's possible Champions League qualifier at Linfield due to safety concerns.

Celtic have confirmed that will not take up their ticket allocation for next month's possible Champions League qualifier at Linfield.

The Belfast side will face SP La Fiorita of San Marino in the second qualifying round, with the winners facing the Scottish Premiership champions.

The first leg of the second qualifying round tie was due to be played on July 12, at the height of the marching season in Northern Ireland, but this has now been changed to July 14.

However, Celtic have decided that the potential for disorder is still too big a risk and will not invite their travelling support to attend.

The Hoops said in a statement: "Following security concerns raised by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Celtic has taken part in discussions with Linfield and the PSNI over recent days.

"While there can be an option to reverse the fixtures if both clubs agree, during discussions, Linfield made it clear that they did not wish to reverse the tie and they wanted to play their home leg first.

"In addition, as is often the case in football, Celtic's football management team wished to play our away leg first so that we could benefit from the advantage of playing the second leg at home in front of our supporters at Celtic Park for this crucial European tie.

"Following the discussions, it was agreed among the clubs and PSNI and has now been confirmed with UEFA that, should Linfield progress to the second qualifying round, Celtic's UEFA Champions League match against Linfield will take place at Windsor Park on Friday, 14 July, with a 5pm kickoff.

"No tickets will be available for Celtic supporters for the match. The safety and security of all Celtic supporters travelling and attending matches is of paramount importance to the club."

The second leg is scheduled to take place on July 18 or 19.

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A very alarmed Moussa Dembele in action for Celtic in September 2016
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