CELTIC are set to escape SFA punishment for the sectarian chants their fans directed at Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes at Hampden on Sunday - after holding a meeting with representatives of ultras group The Green Brigade in the build-up to the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final.

McInnes was sent off in the second-half of a game the Pittodrie club lost 3-0 for making a gesture towards supporters who had been calling him a “sad Orange b******”.

Afterwards, the former Rangers player admitted he had been wrong to react to the abuse he was subjected to and stressed he would accept whatever punishment he received for his ill-advised action.

However, he also revealed the singing would be included in the match delegate’s report and expressed interest in seeing if the Parkhead club were also disciplined for the conduct of their followers at the cup tie.

But Clare Whyte, the SFA compliance officer, appears unlikely to take any action because Celtic are able to demonstrate they took all “reasonably practicable steps” to prevent any disorder in the stands.

It has emerged the Scottish champions held talks with The Green Brigade in the days leading up to the semi-final to discuss their conduct and use of pyrotechnics at games following a series of flashpoints in high-profile matches.

Smoke canisters and flares have been set off at Celtic games on several occasions this season. There was also a pitch invasion by occupants of the safe-standing section at Parkhead at the Old Firm game last month that resulted in the electronic advertising boards down one side of the pitch being knocked over and a steward suffering an injury.

The meeting with the ultras group - along with other preventative measures - has highlighted to the governing body that the double treble winners take the conduct of their fans seriously and are committed to ensuring a safe and family-friendly environment for spectators.

Celtic released a statement on Monday evening denouncing the sectarian songs that were aired in the semi-final the day before - but also highlighting the behaviour of Aberdeen supporters during the same match.

"Chanting of this nature should have no place in football and we condemn this wholeheartedly," read the statement.

"We hope the authorities also take the same interest in offensive chanting directed at Celtic Football Club and our supporters at yesterday’s (Sunday) match and other games."

McInnes is waiting to discover if he faces further disciplinary action. Compliance officer Clare Whyte will review the referee’s report before deciding to issue a notice of complaint for staff misconduct.

After the game on Sunday, McInnes said: “I’ve been sent-off for being frustrated. And for that I apologise. I’m wrong and I’ll take my punishment. I let it go the first time. I shouldn’t. I should be better than that.

“I’ve heard that song a hundred times aimed at me and I’ve never reacted to it so the frustration maybe from the game has played a part in that. The referee or the fourth official deemed my reaction a red card offence. If it is, it is, and I’ll take my punishment for that.

“It will be interesting to see if everybody gets punished for the incident. It’ll be in the delegates report, which is refreshing as it’s not always in their report, when they hear sectarian singing. It certainly wasn’t in the last cup final.

"But that’s not my fight. It’s for others to condemn.”

Celtic closed the safe-standing section for two games, including a Champions League qualifier against Rosenborg, back in 2017 following incidents at Hearts and Linfield games.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell issued a statement after St Mirren keeper Vaclav Hlkady required treatment after a firework landed near him during a game against Celtic in Paisley earlier this month.

He said: "There have a been a number of incidents across many clubs this season, with a range of items, including pyrotechnics, being thrown on to pitches. We need to do all we can to remove this from our game. The club does not want it, our players do not want it, our manager does not want it and our supporters do not want it."