Rangers could be in a lot of trouble with UEFA over one hand salutes made by a section of their fans during last week’s UEFA Cup tie against Hapoel Tel Aviv in Israel.
Rangers chief executive Martin Bain has urged fans not to make any such gestures when the two sides meet Thursday in the return leg at Ibrox.
“The photographs in question show a small number of Rangers fans in Tel-Aviv making one-arm salute gestures. Some Rangers fans continue to give ‘Red Hand’ salutes which the club and the vast majority of supporters discourage because they will be misinterpreted.
We have regularly consulted with our supporters groups and they have said they are doing everything they can to prevent this.
We have repeatedly made clear that fans should not make any gestures that can be misinterpreted and we are urging all fans attending the game tomorrow night to remember the potential consequences.”
It now remains to be seen if UEFA accept Bain’s explanation and Rangers escape severe sanctions because the gestures were Red Hand salutes that may have been misinterpreted as Nazi ones.
One particular problem in the Bain analysis is the actual meaning of the Red Hand salute and its origins. The best description I have been able to find is here.
It’s first appearance at Ibrox seems to have been in the 1980’s, coinciding with the introduction of the extreme right wing “Chelsea bootboys'” unofficial friendship with Rangers.
Terry Last, a soccer hooligan and a leading figure of both the head-hunters and the National Front, also played a role in the rise of this disgusting symbol and dragged England’s national support to an all time low when he was pictured displaying the salute whilst “on tour” with England not long before his arrest and imprisonment in connection with his hooligan activities. Following his trial Last was labelled “Little Hitler of the Soccer Thugs” by the English media…..
A good piece of advice is also offered:
If you see anyone, intentionally or unintentionally, contributing to the use of Nazi salutes within Ibrox, or any other ground where Rangers fans’ are in attendance, do the right thing and politely question why, within Britain’s’ shores’ are they saluting and displaying support for one of the most evil dictatorships in world history, that had they achieved there goal, would have destroyed Great Britain, a union which is sacred to many within our own support.
Most probably, their reply will be, its not a Nazi salute, it’s a Red Hand. It’s time to educate the uneducated, make it clear to the idiots that this mythical Red Hand Salute does not exist and it has no place amoungst a Rangers support that we are extremely proud of.
UEFA fined Rangers last season over discriminatory songs during Champions League ties against Villarreal.
Every club has its idiots (Celtic trying to stop some if its fans chanting IRA slogans) but it could very well be that the particular circumstances of these idiots’ behaviour could have more serious repercussions than usual.
Eds: Thanks for the update Update. UEFA have accepted Rangers’ version of the story 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.”