Glasgow police launch hunt for Celtic attack fan

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LONDON, Oct 4 (Reuters) Glasgow police have stepped up their hunt for the supporter who invaded the pitch and struck AC Milan goalkeeper Dida during Celtic's 2-1 Champions League win over the European champions.

Strathclyde Police issued a statement on Thursday appealing for the man to turn himself in with Superintendent Gillian McLeod urging: ''I would like to personally appeal to the man responsible, or anyone who knows of him, to get in contact.'' The police and match day stewards failed to apprehend the man who struck Dida after Scott McDonald scored a late winner 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.

Celtic are anxiously awaiting UEFA's deliberations on what punishment they will receive for the breakdown in security that marred an otherwise memorable night for the Scottish champions.

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.

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 today'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 KN1800

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