Rangers defy Uefa to play ‘God Save the King’ ahead of Champions League tie

 (AP)
(AP)

Rangers have ignored the declaration of European football’s governing body, Uefa, to play the national anthem ahead of kick-off in their rearranged Champions League fixture against Napoli.

The two sides were due to meet on Tuesday night before it was postponed for 24 hours due to “severe limitations on police resources and organisational issues” arising following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, while away fans were also banned from attending both this game and the reverse fixture in Naples.

British clubs had requested to play the anthem as part of plans to honour both the Queen’s passing and the coronation of King Charles III, but Uefa rejected permission to do so.

Regardless, Rangers released a statement ahead of kick-off to say they would do so and duly asked the crowd to be at Ibrox early to pay their respects.

“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 national anthem,” confirmed the Scottish club.

“If you are attending tonight’s match, we encourage all supporters to be in their seat for 19:50 [ten minutes before kick-off].”

 (AP)
(AP)

Uefa had previously noted that no anthems would be played at games this week, including the Champions League anthem, which was to reflect the “subdued” nature of the time across the UK, they said.

But the Gers followed the mandated minute’s silence – while fans held up cards to make a collage of the Union Flag with the Queen’s face in the centre – with a playing of the national anthem that saw the crowd enthusiastically join in.

Rangers were beaten by Ajax in their first group stage fixture of the campaign, while Napoli beat Liverpool on home soil a week ago.

On Tuesday night a minute’s silence was observed at Anfield before Liverpool beat Ajax in Group A, with the Reds and Gers set to meet in back-to-back fixtures next month.

Published by anthonyhayble

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