Rangers could face punishment over sectarian song

The club could face punishment if the match delegate raises the matter. Picture: John Devlin
The club could face punishment if the match delegate raises the matter. Picture: John Devlin
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The Scottish Professional Football League will wait to see what its match delegate has to say before deciding whether to take action against Rangers over sectarian chanting during Monday’s clash with Hibernian.

The banned Billy Boys song could be clearly heard being sung by the home support during the Ladbrokes Championship fixture on Monday.

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Now the club could face potential punishment if the SPFL’s delegate decides to raise the matter when he submits his report on the match, won 4-2 by Mark Warburton’s team.

A league spokesman said: “There was a delegate at the match and we will receive his report in due course. Until we see that report we are not in a position to comment.”

In 2006, UEFA fined Rangers and also ordered the club to make a public announcement at all their home games pointing out the chanting of the Billy Boys was banned after it was heard during a Champions League clash with Villarreal.

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Under current SPFL rules, clubs are exempt from any punishment so long as the board are satisfied all reasonable and practicable steps were taken to try and ensure acceptable conduct among their supporters.

On that basis, no action was taken in relation to the conduct of fans at the League Cup semi-final between Rangers and Celtic at Hampden last season when songs which fall foul of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act were heard.

Scottish football clubs have so far rejected efforts by the Scottish FA to introduce ‘strict liability’ levels of regulation, in line with Uefa and Fifa, which would hold clubs wholly accountable for the conduct of their fans without any form of mitigation.

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