Rangers defy UEFA decision by singing national anthem in memory of Queen Elizabeth II
UEFA declined British clubs’ requests to play the national anthem before their European fixtures this week, but Rangers defied them ahead of their Champions League clash with Napoli at Ibrox
Rangers played the national anthem ahead of their Champions League tie at home to Napoli – despite UEFA instructing them not to.
On Monday, British clubs submitted a request to the European football governing body in hope that they would be allowed to play the anthem before their midweek matches as a mark of respect for Queen ElizabethII, who died at Balmoral aged 96 last Thursday. UEFA declined the request but Rangers made clear their opposition to the ruling before the match and their fans unveiled a poignant display while singing the anthem.
In a statement issued three hours before kick-off, the Scottish giants tweeted: “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be honoured this evening at Ibrox with a minute’s silence, a display created by the Union Bears, and a rendition of the Nation Anthem. If you are attending tonight’s match, we encourage all supporters to be in their seat for 19:50.”
The decision, which could lead to the club being fined, was met with positive responses from supporters. “Quite right, too,” one fan replied on Twitter before another added: “Love it chaps.”
Having already been pushed back 24 hours, Wednesday’s match had been affected by the passing of the late Queen, as no Napoli supporters were allowed inside Ibrox. It was a result of strained police forces during the ongoing period of national mourning.
In the spirit of sporting fairness, Rangers therefore won’t be permitted to have any fans at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona for the return fixture on Wednesday, October 26.
Rangers are renowned for their affinity towards the Royal Family and have a portrait of the late Queen in the home dressing room at Ibrox. The SPL side noted in a statement released upon the news of her death: “Her Majesty served the people of Great Britain and the Commonwealth for over 70 years with incredible devotion and dignity. She will be gravely missed by not just our nation, but nations across the world.”
English duo Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur paid tribute to the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch by observing a minute’s silence and wearing black armbands last night. The Premier League have also outlined their plans to pay tribute ahead of the coming round of fixtures, having postponed all 10 games last weekend.
“All Premier League matches between Friday 16 and Sunday 18 September will provide an opportunity for the League, clubs and fans to come together to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her extraordinary life and contribution to the nation and world,” the league said.
“Fans will be asked to join a minute’s silence, which will be followed by the National Anthem, God Save The King. Big screens and LED perimeter boards will display tribute images to Her Majesty and flags at the grounds will be flying at half-mast. When the clock turns to 70 minutes, fans will be invited to applaud The Queen’s 70-year reign.”