EUROPEAN football rulers UEFA have ordered Rangers to close a section of Ibrox for Thursday’s second leg of their Europa League play-off against Legia Warsaw after a group of fans were found guilty of sectarian chants.
The game’s bosses ruled that a group of Gers supporters were guilty of racist behaviour, which included sectarian singing, during the club’s European tie against Gibralter’s St Joseph’s in Glasgow on July 18.
At least 3,000 seats will lie empty for the return game against the Poles with the score balanced at 0-0 after last night’s action in Warsaw.
A club statement read: “UEFA has ruled that a group of Rangers supporters were guilty of racist behaviour – which includes sectarian singing – during the match against St Joseph’s at Ibrox on July 18.
“Our supporters have been asked repeatedly by the club to refrain from indulging in this, and other forms of unacceptable behaviour. 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.”
Club chairman Dave King said: “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.”
UEFA’s statement said: “The Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has decided to order a partial closure of the stadium during the next one UEFA competition match in which Rangers FC play as the host club, for the racist behaviour of its supporters.
“Rangers FC shall, as a matter of urgency, inform UEFA of the sector(s) to be closed, which shall at least comprehend 3,000 seats.
“The Scottish club is ordered to display a banner with the wording #EqualGame, with the UEFA logo on it. The banner shall be displayed in the sector(s) to be closed.”