Celtic face anxious wait before UEFA decide on fan attack

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LONDON, Oct 4 (Reuters) Celtic face an anxious wait to see what punishment UEFA will impose on them after one of their fans appeared to strike AC Milan goalkeeper Dida during their Champions League clash at Celtic Park.

The fan ran on to the field and seemed to land a light slap on Dida after Scott McDonald scored a late winner to give Celtic a 2-1 win over the European champions in their Group D match, last night.

Dida then chased the fan for a few paces before dramatically collapsing to the ground and needed a stretcher to take him off.

UEFA have a history of handing out severe punishments for these sort of offences but were making no comment apart from their usual statement that they would wait until they received the match report from German referee Markus Merk.

UEFA's director of communications, William Gaillard, confirmed to reporters after the game that any case brought would be handled by its Control and Disciplinary Committee.

A spokesman for Strathclyde police told Reuters today that no-one had been arrested for the incident and appealed to supporters to ''turn him in'' referring to the fan.

The spokesman added: ''We are launching a full investigation but no arrests were made last night. Anyone knowing who this man is should supply us with his name and address.'' Milan said they would not appeal to UEFA to have the match result annulled or replayed but European soccer's governing body can act on its own accord once it has the referee's report.

''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.'' MISERABLE NIGHT 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 will be far more concerned about their alarming slide in form, though, with the Italian media and even Dida's own coach making it clear they thought he was overreacting.

''Didastro,'' was the main headline in Thursday's Gazzetta dello Sport, a play on the Italian for disaster.

''Milan on the floor like Dida,'' ran an inside headline with Gazzetta blaming Dida for Celtic's two goals as well.

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.

After winning their Serie A opener they drew their next four games before losing at Palermo and now Celtic.

''We are disappointed, I don't think we deserved to lose,'' Ancelotti told reporters.

Stephen McManus put Celtic ahead after 62 minutes and Kaka 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.

REUTERS BJR PM1655

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