Over the weekend, I highlighted a piece by Phil Mac Giolla Bhain which said the Ibrox NewCo were probably facing charges from UEFA in relation to sectarian singing in Warsaw; I put a little video at the end of my own piece which showed their fans clearly engaging in that behaviour.
This evening, the Ibrox club has announced that it will not be seeking an away ticket allocation for their next European game, having confirmed that UEFA is citing them for the behaviour of their fans at that match. The club is desperately scrambling to contain the fallout from this, but they are unlikely to be able to convince UEFA to be lenient.
The Ibrox argument will undoubtedly be that this display of racist behaviour took place before the publication of their punishment for the same offence against St Patricks; the inference will be that it would not have happened had their fans already realised the consequences. This is a bit like someone committing a murder and saying that if they’d known an arrest for a prior killing had been imminent that they would never have done it.
“If there is a further incidence at tomorrow night’s match this could lead to a ground closure,” the NewCo statement tonight reads … UEFA might well close the ground anyway, as it’s part of the sliding scale of punishments on which the club now finds itself.
Sectarian singing is against UEFA regulations; having been fined for it before neither the club nor its fans could even pretend to be ignorant of that fact. That they did it on day before UEFA handed down a verdict in another case grants them no absolution at all.
The hammer of UEFA will hit them hard, and they deserve everything they get.
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