Uefa hit Rangers with sectarian chanting charge
Rangers believe they are the victims of an organised campaign after being hit with a second UEFA disciplinary charge in eight days.
The club last night confirmed the governing body had opened a case against them over alleged sectarian chanting among their fans at the Europa League game against PSV Eindhoven on March 17.
Debt-hit Rangers have been told they face a heavy fine and a two-match ban on home supporters in European competition next season.
Rangers chief executive Martin Bain was "astounded" after UEFA added the case to an identical charge over the first leg.
Bain disclosed that both charges had been prompted by evidence from the fan-led Football Against Racism in Europe organisation despite no problems being flagged up by UEFA's official delegate.
And Bain pledged the club would fight the charges "very, very vigorously".
"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," Bain told www.rangersfc.co.uk.
"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?
"It would appear that yet again UEFA have acted on a report from the FARE organisation when their own match delegate, this time from Northern Ireland, gave us a very favourable report."
UEFA, whose disciplinary panel will discuss the club's case on April 28, have fined Rangers twice for the same offence in the last five years.
But Rangers argue they could not have done any more to fight sectarianism and last week listed the numerous programmes they have instigated to tackle the issue at a cost of several hundred thousand pounds.
They were recently involved in a summit with Celtic, police and Scottish Government officials along with Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan.
Regan vowed to continue working with Rangers and Celtic to tackle the problem.
"It's something we've recognised in Scotland," he told Sky Sports News.
"We've set up a joint working group with the police, the Government, with the clubs themselves, the football leagues and the Scottish Football Association to try and come up with practical measures which we can put in place to do something about this because it's not good for the game, and it does tarnish the image.
"I think it needs a number of measures - I don't think one party is capable of resolving this in isolation.
"It really needs the police, the stewards and the clubs themselves to be working together to try to weed out that minority who continue to participate in such chanting."
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food