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Page last updated at 17:34 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Rangers may face SPL chant probe

Rangers players at the end of Sunday's goalless draw at Celtic Park
The chanting was heard during Sunday's Old Firm match

Sectarian chanting by some Rangers fans during Sunday's Old Firm draw has been reported to the SPL by the match delegate, BBC Scotland has learned.

The report suggests that some away supporters at Celtic Park were guilty of unacceptable behaviour relating to the chanting of the 'Famine Song'.

The Rangers Supporters' Trust said it hoped the match delegate's report would be "even-handed".

SPL bosses will now decide whether or not there is a case to answer.

The song, which includes the line "The famine's over, why don't you go home," was heard during Sunday's 0-0 draw.

It refers to events that killed an estimated one million people in the 1840s and led to a mass migration from Ireland and has drawn condemnation from the chairmen of both clubs, Sir David Murray of Rangers, and Celtic's Dr John Reid.

Rangers have urged their fans to refrain from singing the song after it was first heard during their team's 4-2 victory at Celtic Park in August.

Following that occasion, Irish diplomats raised their concerns with the Scottish government after receiving a complaint from a Celtic fan.

The Scottish FA president George Peat said the football authorities were committed to eradicating such behaviour, after he heard the song during Rangers' 3-1 win over Hamilton Accies in October.

Representatives from Rangers held discussions with Strathclyde Police about how best to tackle the issue, and fans of the Ibrox club were warned that they risked arrest if they persisted with the chant.

A Rangers fan was given two years probation and a football banning order for singing the song at Kilmarnock's Rugby Park in November.

The club escaped punishment by the SPL in 2007 for sectarian chanting during a match at Inverness, as the league was satisfied they were doing their best to stamp out the problem.

However, they were warned that they would be sanctioned with a fine, or even a points deduction, if the problem continued.

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see also
Reid responds to Murray warning
20 Nov 08 |  Rangers
Rangers warned over 'Famine song'
29 Oct 08 |  Scottish Premier
SFA vows to tackle 'Famine song'
27 Oct 08 |  Scottish Premier

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