Wed 28 Aug, 2013 11:43 am
Bit of a clash of cultures in this footballing story. Sounds like something Borat would do.
Shakhter Karagandy's ceremony of sacrificing a sheep will not be repeated before Wednesday's match against Celtic in Glasgow.
The Kazakh club carried out the ceremony before last week's Champions League play-off first leg in their homeland.
And coach Viktor Kumykov hinted they would do so again ahead of the return meeting at Celtic Park.
But a Celtic spokesman said: "Clearly this would not happen."
And they added: "Shakhter have spoken to the club and said this is a misunderstanding and made it clear they have no intention whatsoever of doing anything like this."
Peta urged Uefa to punish Shakhter after they sacrificed a sheep at the Astana Arena ahead of their 2-0 victory last Tuesday.
And the animal rights group say Uefa have written to the club to explain that a repeat of such acts may lead to disciplinary action.
The Scottish SPCA warned that any slaughter held outside a licensed premises would be a criminal offence and the charity raised their concerns with Celtic.
And Scotland For Animals urged the public to complain to Celtic in an attempt to prevent a repeat ceremony in Scotland.
Earlier, when asked if his club planned a ceremony for the second leg, Kumykov said: "Possibly, yes. It shouldn't be too difficult finding a sheep in Scotland."
Speaking through an interpreter, Kumykov defended the ritual, saying: "All I can say is that every team and every club has its own pre-match traditions and rituals.
"Celtic must have their own. We will try to respect our traditions and those traditions have been in place even before we came to the club."
Shakhter are aiming to be the first club from their nation to reach the group stages of Europe's top competition for club sides.
Kumykov then played down the effects the pre-match ritual had had on the first leg in Kazakhstan.
"Of course this tradition may have certain psychological impact on players that can help them to relax before the game," he said.
"But, obviously, what really matters is on the football pitch, the game and the final score and you know we scored twice in the first-leg and Celtic failed to score - that's what really matters."
Celtic won, maybe there's something to this sheep sacrificing mullarky after all.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has described his side's qualification for the Champions League group stages as his biggest achievement in the game.
The Bhoys overturned a two-goal deficit by beating Shakhter Karagandy 3-0 in the play-off round second leg.
"It's the greatest thing I've ever done in football," said Lennon who lost three key players this summer.