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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 November, 2004, 12:25 GMT
Celtic invited to make complaint
Martin O'Neill
The Scottish Football Association has invited Celtic to make an official complaint about the alleged racist abuse of Neil Lennon by Rangers fans.

Martin O'Neill claimed Lennon was subjected to verbal abuse of a "racial and sectarian manner".

An SFA statement said: "All sectarian and racist chants are wrong, no matter who they are targeted at.

"If Celtic, or any club, wish to make a complaint there are recognised avenues which can be followed within football."

However, Rangers fans are demanding an apology from O'Neill.

John Macmillan, the general secretary of the Rangers Supporters Association, described O'Neill's claims as "outrageous".

"The authorities should be calling him up to explain those remarks," he added.

But the Scottish FA statement added: "Martin O'Neill will not be charged with bringing the game into disrepute."

Rangers fans are demanding an apology from Celtic boss Martin O'Neill after he accused them of directing racist abuse at Neil Lennon.

O'Neill caused controversy when he led Lennon to the travelling contingent and repeatedly punched the air.

He explained later: "I applauded the crowd because the support was fantastic and because Neil Lennon was abused from start to finish.

"I think I had a right to show some support. He was verbally abused in a racial and sectarian manner."

Lennon, often the subject of invective at away grounds, was booed at every turn in a match that saw Celtic pair Alan Thompson and Chris Sutton ordered off.

And police are investigating claims Lennon made comments to fans and spat on a Rangers scarf which was thrown on to the side of the pitch during the match.




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