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Rangers hit with partial stadium ban for sectarian chants

17:10 BST 23/08/2019
ibrox - cropped
UEFA have told Rangers to close part of their Ibrox stadium after some fans were found guilty of racist behaviour against St Joseph's.

Rangers have been hit with a partial stadium ban by UEFA after a number of fans sung sectarian chants during their Europa League qualifying match against Gibraltar-based St Joseph’s in July.

The club have been told to close a section of Ibrox for their next home game in UEFA competition after breaching rules relating to racist behaviour.

The Glasgow club must therefore ensure no fewer than 3000 seats are empty for the Europa League play-off second leg against Legia Warsaw next Thursday.

The club have promised to try “to restrict the impact to offending supporters” and have told fans to stay away from matches if they cannot conduct themselves “in a civilised manner”.

“Our supporters have been asked repeatedly by the club to refrain from indulging in this, and other forms of unacceptable behaviour,” a Rangers statement said of the sectarian chants.

“Sadly, the warnings have fallen on deaf ears and the actions of this minority will cause the club and the majority of good and decent Rangers supporters to pay a heavy penalty.

“Unfortunately, a significant number of supporters, innocent of any wrongdoing, will be unable to attend next week’s match (against Legia). 

“This is deeply regrettable to all at the club and we hope that the guilty parties, who attracted the attention of UEFA, might reflect on the damage their unacceptable behaviour is causing Rangers and their fellow supporters.

“If any individual supporter is unable to behave in a civilised manner then please stay away from Ibrox and our club. You are harming Rangers and that is something a genuine supporter would never wish to do.”

Rangers chairman Dave King added: “Rangers is a club open to all and we will continue to convey this message at every opportunity through our Everyone Anyone initiative.

“Rangers has players and supporters from many religions, cultures and backgrounds but we are one and the same when we gather to support our club. If any supporter cannot accept that then Rangers is not the club for them.”

The club have been punished by UEFA in the past for sectarian singing from the stands.

Notable instances arose against Villarreal in 2006 and Osasuna a year later, while they were also handed a £72,000 fine for chants during both legs of a UEFA Cup tie with PSV Eindhoven in 2011.