National governing body to come to Rangers' aid in bid to combat major issue - report
Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

IFA offer Rangers help in bid to tackle sectarianism - report

The Glasgow Evening Times reports that the Irish Football Association are keen to help Rangers in any way they can, as the club looks to combat sectarianism.

Specific chants sung by fans during recent Europa League qualifiers led to charges being meted out by UEFA for ‘racist behaviour.’

As a result of the first charge, a section of 3000 seats was closed off for Thursday night’s win over Legia Warsaw. A similar punishment will be in place for Rangers’ first home game of Group G against Feyenoord, while the club will accept no tickets for its away game against Young Boys in October.

A section of the Broomloan stand was closed to supporters on Thursday. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Things seem to be moving in the right direction already, though. The club praised fans for their exemplary support on Thursday evening, with many supporters seeing recent developments as a line in the sand moment.

In the face of similar criticism and punishments, Northern Irish football’s governing body successfully introduced its own campaign against sectarianism in the 2000s. As a result of the Football for All initiative, offending songs that were once regularly heard at Windsor Park are simply no longer part of the hymnbook.

Northern Ireland fans during a 2018 World Cup qualifier in Belfast. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

The Green and White Army have since received international recognition for the standards and dedication of their support, especially during Euro 2016 in France [BBC Sport].

Rangers’ Europa League playoff round opponents Legia Warsaw are also said to be keen to offer advice [Glasgow Evening Times].

The Polish side have been on the receiving end of a number of UEFA fines over the years.

With national organisations and fellow clubs pledging their support, Rangers should take this opportunity to use the knowledge and experiences of others, to help push through changes at Ibrox.

UEFA have shown that they will not budge on the matter. Therefore, while a minority may be reluctant to change, change they must.

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