Thursday, 28 April 2011

Rangers UEFA Hearing

Rangers have had their fans suspended from attendingvone European away games by UEFA after a report was filed by FARE.

"The UEFA control and disciplinary body meeting today in Nyon has confirmed the following sanctions against Rangers FC after the two legs against PSV Eindhoven in the UEFA Europa League round of 16," a UEFA statement read.

Following a charge of discriminatory behaviour at the first leg match against PSV Eindhoven on March 10, 2011, Rangers FC have been fined €40,000 and the club is restricted from selling any tickets to its supporters for two away matches in UEFA club competitions (with the respective home clubs also not authorised to sell tickets to Rangers FC supporters).

The ban applies to Rangers next away match and is suspended for the second away match for a probationary period of three years.

UEFA also fined the Scottish club a further €40,000 and were banned for one home game which has been suspended for three years and will only come into place if they are up infront of another charge within this time.

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain responded on the club's official website: "We are bitterly disappointed that our club has been placed in a position where we are subjected to these kind of sanctions by UEFA. We will consider our position when we receive the written reasons for the decision which are expected in a week or so.

"The club put its own case very forcibly to UEFA and the more draconian sanctions that were recommended by the disciplinary inspector have been mitigated to a degree. To be clear, we condemn sectarianism and there is no doubt the mindless behaviour of an element of our support has exposed the club to a very serious situation. The people who engage in this type of behaviour are damaging the club they claim to support.

"It is abundantly clear from this decision that if there is any sectarian singing at future matches the suspended bans will take effect. Those fans who engage in such activity need to take that message on board. The majority of our fans understand the situation and would much rather focus on football. They show that clearly at Ibrox and the tremendous atmosphere they created at last weekend's Old Firm match was a case in point.

"In terms of the UEFA case brought against us, we have had serious concerns about the integrity of the evidence compiled by the FARE organisation and that remains the case. We are also of the opinion that FARE has been influenced by people who make it their business to damage our club in any way they can. We are committed to the eradication of sectarianism and believe it would have been more constructive for FARE to work with our club rather than against it.

"Instead, they submitted evidence to UEFA with a clear objective in mind and have shown a complete lack of transparency or accountability when asked for clarification on various aspects of that evidence."

I wonder if Rangers will appeal this and take it to a higher level of court where they might have a chance of winning.

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