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Page last updated at 15:16 GMT, Saturday, 7 November 2009

McCoist blasts 'mindless idiots'

Rangers and stewards clash on Wednesday
There were scuffles between fans and stewards in Bucharest

Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist has condemned the section of the club's fans who clashed with security staff at Wednesday's draw with Unirea Urziceni.

But McCoist says he does not know what more Rangers can do to weed out that element of their support.

"Ourselves, like many other clubs, have mindless idiots who bring shame on the club," McCoist told BBC Scotland.

"The club's doing just about everything possible to deal with these idiots, But I don't know if we can do anymore."

Fans of the Glasgow side clashed with security officials at half-time of the 1-1 Champions League draw in Bucharest.

Rangers have been sanctioned twice in recent years, and any punishment could range from a fine to a European ban.

As well as charging Rangers with the 'improper conduct of their supporters', Uefa have also opened disciplinary procedures against Unirea for a 'lack of organisation' at the Ghencea Stadium.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

But Rangers chief executive Martin Bain and Superintendant Mike Dean of Strathclyde Police both insist there was poor organisation at the stadium, and that Romanian security officials and police treated the Scottish fans heavy-handedly.

However, McCoist was still eager to condemn those among the Rangers section who took part in the scuffles.

"Ourselves - like many other clubs - have mindless idiots who bring shame on the club," said McCoist.

"It's absolutely not good enough. But I don't know what the next step is."

"From our point of view it's sickening. It's our job as players and coaches to get teams on the park and we don't want to be deprived of that.

"But I watched the thing on television, and I saw half-a-dozen idiots who did their best to shame the club.

"I get a little bit upset about the criticism the club gets, but I fully accept they're in with our supporters.

"Hopefully we'll find them and they won't be watching anyone never mind Rangers."

Meanwhile, manager Walter Smith fears the consequences if his club are punished for crowd trouble in Romania.

"If we do have to miss European games then that would be an enormous blow for the club," said Smith.

Rangers have been fined in recent seasons for fan behaviour in Villarreal and Pamplona.

Uefa's director of communications Rob Faulkner told BBC Scotland that incidents over the past five years would come into consideration when the case is examined on 12 November.

"Obviously, we have received warnings before and it will be hugely disappointing if it does impact on the footballing side of things," said Smith.

"I'm not currently aware of the whole background of the situation. So whether you're critical of the supporters or critical of the policing and the stewards - it is left up to you.

"But it's not an isolated incident, and it's a situation Rangers can't run away from.

"In the current climate, it's the last thing the club needs. European football is important to this club."

The Glasgow club were fined £13,300 for supporters' discriminatory chanting and £9,000 for attacking their opponents' team bus during an away game against Villarreal in 2006.

The following year, they were fined £8,280 on an improper conduct charge for fans' behaviour at an away Uefa Cup game against Osasuna.

And rioting by fans during last year's Uefa Cup final in Manchester is regarded as one of the most shameful episodes in the club's recent history.

Already this season, Dinamo Zagreb were docked three points and ordered to play two Europa League group games behind closed doors after serious crowd disturbances during their game against Romanian side Timisoara.

However, the Croatian club has appealed the punishment.



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see also
Rangers charged over fan violence
05 Nov 09 |  Rangers
Sevilla not ready to take it easy
05 Nov 09 |  Rangers
Wilson not expecting more starts
05 Nov 09 |  Rangers
Smith stunned by late equaliser
05 Nov 09 |  Rangers
Unirea Urziceni 1-1 Rangers
04 Nov 09 |  Europe
Champions League photo gallery
04 Nov 09 |  Europe


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