MX23RW : Monday, October 15 11:27:05

Rangers await UEFA verdict on sectarian charges

Rangers today learn whether they will be punished for sectarian singing at two matches last month.

Rangers will hear this afternoon whether they will be punished for charges of sectarian singing at two Europa League matches against PSV Eindhoven last month.

The club has not sent representation to the two discliplinary hearings in Nyon, Switzerland, but has made a written submission stating its position.

The charges brought regarding the first match originated from reports of sectarian singing from UEFA’s match delegates, supported by evidence from Football Against Racism in Europe. However, the hearing about the second match has been called based on claims from FARE alone; the UEFA delegate did not report singing.

Ranger’s chief executive Martin Bain has revealed his ‘dismay’ at the second charge. "We have never said that sectarian singing is not a problem, but this now has all the hallmarks of a deliberate and targeted campaign against the club,” he said.

"What else are we expected to believe when UEFA officials give us favourable reports at our matches only to indict us later on the evidence of an outside unaccountable body?"

Possible punishments at the hand of UEFA include banning fans from European fixtures, forcing the club to play future European matches at home behind closed doors and financial penalties.

UEFA president Michel Platini acknowledged that the fans are to blame rather than Rangers themselves. “It’s not easy for the club or for us,” he admitted. “[The fans] sing what they want. In the stadium, it’s difficult to put one policeman behind each fan. It’s not possible. It’s complicated but we have to do our job.”

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