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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007, 16:40 GMT
Uefa drops Rangers salute probe
Rangers fans have been fined twice in the last year
Rangers have again urged fans not to make red hand of Ulster salutes after the club avoided a Uefa probe into a complaint by an anti-racism group.

It followed newspaper photographs suggesting Nazi-style gestures during their match against Hapoel Tel-Aviv.

Uefa has accepted Rangers' explanation that such salutes related to the red hand on the Ulster flag.

But club chief executive Martin Bain said: "We have repeatedly made clear that fans should not make them."

Rangers were fined 4,000 in December after a pro-Palestinian protestor invaded the pitch during a match in the previous round against another Israeli club, Maccabi Haifa.

The Scottish club were also fined 13,000 last season after claims that fans sang sectarian songs during their Champions League tie with Villarreal.

But Bain did not envisage any problems for Thursday's second leg of the Uefa Cup tie with Hapoel in Glasgow.
It is also the sign of the red hand of Ulster and this convinced the disciplinary unit to end their investigation

Uefa spokesman

"Rangers fans have always made Israeli supporters welcome at Ibrox," he told Rangers' website.

"However, none of us want to see another European campaign marred by the type of sanction taken against our club last season, or worse.

"We are delighted Uefa has seen fit to dismiss this matter.

"It is disappointing when there are other stadium environment issues around Europe that our club again comes into focus.

"Our supporters have rightly been praised by all foreign police forces involved in our European games so far and we have a wide range of measures in place to encourage positive fan behaviour.

"The club and supporters organisations have repeatedly urged fans to avoid making any kind of one-armed salute, because they will be misinterpreted, and it is important to reiterate that message.

"Rangers have been campaigning vigorously for common standards on crowd behaviour to be implemented both domestically and at European level.

"We are proud of the standards that we have set at Ibrox which we believe are among the highest.

"Our supporters have responded tremendously to all appeals from the club and from supporters organisations to show Rangers in the best possible light and we are grateful for their continued support.

"Equally, we do not hesitate to take action against anyone who lets the club down."

Indeed, although Bain stressed that it was only a small section of the Rangers support making the gestures, Rangers have warned that they will seek direct compensation from fans should their action lead to any more Uefa sanctions.

An Ibrox source told BBC Sport: "The Scottish legal system provides a mechanism for compensation to be awarded as part of the criminal process.

"Where any person is convicted of an offence, the circumstances of which led to any financial consequences, including the imposition of any sanction by a governing body, there exists the possibility that a request can be made for an order of compensation in respect of the sum."

A Uefa spokesman said that European football's governing body had accepted Rangers' explanation.

"The disciplinary unit will not be taking any further action," he said.

"It is also the sign of the red hand of Ulster and this convinced the disciplinary unit to end their investigation."



SEE ALSO
Rangers fined for pitch protest
12 Dec 06 |  Rangers
Rangers fined after Uefa appeal
24 May 06 |  Europe


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