As we mentioned in our article ‘Rangers continue to bathe in Britishness or is it all a PR Stunt’, during Rangers 5-0 win against Motherwell at Fir Park today, Rangers skipper David Weir donned a specially embroidered commemorative shirt against Stuart McCall’s side, paying a special tribute to Prince William and Kate Middleton, who were married at Westminster Abbey on Friday.
Weir’s Number 3 jersey was prepared by kit man Jimmy Bell, and read, ‘Congratulations William and Catherine, 29th April 2011’. The message is technically in breach of FIFA regulations, which prevent players from making religious, political or personal statements.
Manager Walter Smith claimed that he had no knowledge of his captain’s tribute to the Royal Wedding, while it was also reported that Weir was also unaware of the tribute until just before kick off.
Smith said, “I didn’t know it was there. Sorry, I can’t enlighten you at all. It must have been the kit man.”
However it seems that Former Motherwell secretary Alan Dick, who was the Scottish Premier League’s match delegate, spoke to Weir about the issue after the game and the incident will be mentioned in his report to the governing body.
It has also been reported that Weir was not involved in planning the gesture and learned of the work done to his jersey on Saturday morning. Which would mean it was highly unlikely any official clearance was received for the player to make the statement.
The Poppy Remembrance on the shirts, Celtic’s National Famine Day memorial embroidered badge, Celtic’s Japanese lettering instead of English names and Celtic wearing the Number 7 in honour of Jimmy Johnstone were similar incidents to the Weir, one however in each of those cases, official clearance was given.
So while it is a trivial matter, David Weir could see himself hauled in front of the SFA for breaching the rules of the game, for what the Rangers kit man did, allegedly without Weir’s knowledge, and punished accordingly.
If Weir is given a retrospective yellow card, it would take him over the points threshold meaning, he could be ruled out for the final game of the season at Rugby Park on the 15th May. A game that would see the end of Weir’s career as a Rangers player.