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Police investigate claims of ‘sectarian language’ in Rangers’ title celebrations

Police are investigating claims that Rangers players used “sectarian language” during their title celebrations.

A probe was launched after TikTok footage emerged of players and others singing inside a function suite. Rangers declared themselves confident that no criminality had taken place. “We are aware of a video circulating on social media apparently showing Rangers players using sectarian language while celebrating on Saturday,” a Police Scotland statement read. “We are assessing its contents and will liaise with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service as part of our enquiries.”

Scottish justice secretary Humza Yousaf said that Rangers should sack any guilty players. Writing on Twitter, Yousaf said: “I have also been made aware of this clip, if (and I stress if) this clip is genuine then any player or staff member found to be guilty of anti-Catholic hatred should be shown the door by the Club. It is right Police Scot investigate & determine the facts around it.”

Rangers responded with a club statement: “It is evident that this video was shared with an adjoining narrative which attempts to discredit our players and the reputation of Rangers Football Club. This highlights the dangers of ‘trial by social media’. It is deeply concerning that this video has been taken as genuine and has been shared widely including by some political representatives who should be mindful of their influence and legal processes.

“Our squad is richly diverse. Sectarianism is unacceptable and has no place in our club which is underlined by our Everyone Anyone campaign. We are confident that no criminality took place, we have sought legal advice and look forward to cooperating with Police Scotland.”

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The club and Scottish football authorities had earlier criticised the behaviour of fans in Glasgow on Saturday. Police in riot gear broke up celebrations in George Square hours after the team lifted the Scottish Premiership trophy following their final game against Aberdeen. Five police officers were injured and 28 arrests made – with the force promising many more will follow – after ugly scenes accompanied a mass gathering which flouted Covid-19 rules a day after Glasgow was given notice of further restrictions.

Rangers condemned the scenes after describing the support from “millions of our fans across the world” as “incredible”.

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