Rangers manager Smith urges fans to end sectarian songs

Walter Smith has warned Rangers fans to stop singing sectarian songs or the club could face "drastic consequences".

He believes a minority of fans are tarnishing the club by continuing to sing such songs at matches.

The Rangers manager is worried that Uefa will ban fans from travelling or make the team play behind closed doors.

Smith accepts it may take a long time to eradicate the songs completely, but he says they are "not acceptable in the modern era".

And Smith admitted that he has also sung sectarian songs as a young man on the terraces at Ibrox.

"I've sung songs, I've been there on the terracing as a youngster, I've done that," said the Rangers manager.

"But, certainly, I wouldn't put myself in a position to do it now. That's what I would ask supporters to do.

Smith believes it is time for such songs to be consigned to the past.

"It's fine when you have a great club, with a great tradition, as Rangers have and people feel that's a part of it," he said.

"But I think when there is a reaction, as there has been over the last few years, against those traditions then the people who do sing them need to take into account that in a modern era it's maybe not acceptable for them to do so.

"Therefore they need to realise the club are going to suffer quite drastic consequences if they don't stop.

"So I would ask them, considering the problems that our club have, to take that into account and stop singing the songs that are offensive.

"I would stress that I don't think it's the majority of Rangers supporters."

Smith's warning comes ahead of a Uefa hearing later this month over allegations of sectarian chanting during the Europa League game against PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands on 10 March.

Rangers chief executive Martin Bain has said that the club are "utterly dismayed" by Uefa's decision and that they would defend their position "vigorously".

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