A former Rangers player was among more than 20 fans used by an anti-Qatar group seeking to organise a protest against the Emir of Qatar on Twitter.
Derek Carcary, who played at Ibrox from 2004-2006, and 21 other Rangers supporters sent almost identical messages to comedian Janey Godley, who famously called Donald Trump a ‘c***’ during the president‘s recent visit.
Each Tweet asked her: ‘hi @Janey Godley are you gonna protest or are you aware of any protest planned for The Emir of Qatar, SheikhTamim bin Hamad Al-Thani?
News of the bizarre Twitter bombardment emerged after it was revealed that struggling actors were offered £20 to join a fake protest against the Emir outside Downing Street on Tuesday.
The extras were invited by casting agency, Extra People, to’ fill space ‘ during the visit for talks with Theresa May.
The company later pulled out saying it did not want to be involved in the protests. It claimed to have been contacted by a firm called Neptune PR, asking for 500 demonstrators in Westminster. Neptune denied any involvement.
It has been speculated in press reports that Qatar’s enemies in the Middle East were behind the fake protests.
In June 2017 Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt launched a diplomatic and transport blockade of the tiny Gulf state accusing it cosying up to Iran and supporting extremism, which Doha denies.
The tweets at Ms Godley started as far back as Saturday, ruling out a copycat version of the Downing Street story, which did not break until Monday evening.
On Saturday Mr Carcary, who has also played for Queen of the South and Raith Rovers, re-tweeted an anti-Qatar message from ProActive Patriots which read: ‘The Emir of Qatar visits London on Monday to meet the PM.. Surely more will turn out to protest this than Trump.’
Some Rangers fans contacted by The Herald claimed they were attacking Ms Godley’s hypocrisy for going after Trump, but not other world leaders.
One – calling himself Jock Brittania @IbroxBrogues said: Just wondering if @glasgowcathcart @NicolaSturgeon@HumzaYousafg@janeygodley@SadiqKhan have any comment to make on the gay bashing, women beating, murdering, stoning, beheading Qatar leaders visit? Surely you lot will be leading the protests? Where do I sign up?
But none of the accounts appeared to have shown any interest in Middle East politics before.
Ms Godley, who is also a Rangers fan, has been subjected to previous attacks by football fans over her support for independence.
But she told The Herald she did not believe the references to Qatar were ‘sinister’.
She said: ‘I don’t mind being trolled but I resent the threats and open calls to spit on me etc.. I defend their freedom of speech, if you stop them from calling me names, you stop me from calling Trump a c*** - so I don’t agree, but defend their freedom of speech.’