Smith: Fans must heed warning on sectarian songs

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The Independent Football

Walter Smith believes Rangers fans must heed the lesson of Thursday's sanctions imposed by Uefa for sectarian singing, although the manager was relieved that the punishment was not as severe as the club had feared.

Uefa fined Rangers and banned supporters from attending their next away game in Europe after they were found guilty of discriminatory behaviour relating to both legs of their Europa League tie against PSV Eindhoven last month. But a second travelling ban and an order to play a home match behind closed doors were suspended for three years.

Smith, who is making way for assistant Ally McCoist at the end of the season, said: "The outcome is not as bad as we thought it was going to be, so that's a good thing. But it should be enough of a warning for people to realise the sectarian aspect of the singing has to stop. Hopefully that hanging over everyone should be enough of a threat for that to happen.

"The consequences affect the club's ability to compete so people need to realise that they are not doing the club any good."

Rangers can extend their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League to four points with victory at Motherwell this afternoon. Celtic, who have a game in hand, entertain Dundee United at Parkhead tomorrow.