Rangers’ Europa League punishment may be avoided as club chiefs are confident of being let off the hook.

According to the Scottish Sun, Rangers believe they won’t be given any punishment for the late kick-off in Moscow. This is despite the fact UEFA have cited the incident after the pair kicked-off two minutes late for kick-off.

TV replays showed that Ivan Bebek, the referee for the match, was waiting on Alfredo Morelos before leading the teams out. This is apparently the reason for the late start.

Rangers and Spartak Moscow started late by a couple of minutes (Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Both sides have been charged under Article 11, but wouldn’t be expected to deal with anything other than a small fine. Similar incidents have seen clubs fined just over £10,000. Manchester United and Valencia being the most recent. This took place during their Champions League clash in October. United were fines just over £13,000

A potential defence?

Where Rangers, however, feel they have a defence is in the case of a first offence. That’s not the same for Spartak, who have another three charges they’re being pulled up for. This is regarding fireworks, crowd missiles, and a blocked stairway.

The match itself ended in a painful 4-3 defeat in Russia. Despite taking the lead on three separate occasions in the contest, Rangers couldn’t hold on to any of them.

Rangers led three times in Russia before losing out (Sergei FadeichevTASS via Getty Images)

Spartak are likely to be hit with heavy fines for their supporters’ part in the incidents. Rangers, however, at worst will be hit with something minimal.

It’s interesting to hear that Spartak are also being cited for the late kick-off, however. If it was indeed down to Morelos coming out of the changing-room late, there’s not much Moscow could’ve done about that. They’ll likely feel a sense of injustice about the incident, but they have bigger problems to worry about.

Rangers next host Villarreal in the penultimate match in the group, before travelling to Austria to face Rapid Vienna. All four sides are still in with a chance of qualification in what’s proving to be one of the most competitive groups of the competition.

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