Ange 'saddened' by song as Rangers fans banned

1 month ago 20
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Celtic's Australian manager Ange Postecoglou says he was "saddened" by racism against Japanese star Kyogo Furuhashi, with a song created by Rangers fans creating a storm in Scottish football.

Several Rangers fans have been "banned indefinitely" after a social media video showed a group allegedly chanting a racist song about Furuhashi.

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The footage emerged after Rangers' 4-2 win over Ross County in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday.

The individuals have been identified and, as well as banning the fans involved, the club also confirmed no tickets would be given to the Rangers Supporters Club (RSC) they were travelling with.

Furuhashi has been one of Celtic's brightest stars so far this season after he was signed by Postecoglou soon after the Australian took the biggest job of his career.

Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi has been a star for the club this season. (PA Images via Getty Images)

The 26-year-old has scored six goals in seven games, including a hat-trick against Dundee.

Postecoglou was brought in controversailly by Celtic in the off-season after making his mark in Japan's J. League, where he took Yokohama F. Marinos to their first title in 15 years in 2019.

The former Socceroos coach has got off to an outstanding start to his tenure at the European giants, in no small part due to the form of the Japanese star, and he said he felt a responsibility to protect Furuhashi after convincing him to sign.

"To be honest, it saddens me a lot because I'm the one who's brought him over here," Postecoglou told Celtic TV after the racist song made headlines.

"I spent three-and-a-half years in Japan, and I was a foreigner, and I was welcomed with open arms over there. I know how polite and respectful the Japanese people were, and I'm the one that brought Kyogo here.

"I'm sure his experience is totally the extreme opposite of what's been portrayed in the last 48 hours. Talking to him, he loves being here, he loves the city, he loves the way everyone's embraced him.

"It's not about education, people are more than well aware of what's right and wrong - just be a decent human being and treat people with respect.

"Our number one priority is to protect and support the player. He's a cracking guy.

"If anyone ever comes across him, he's such a nice young man and he doesn't deserve any of that type of behaviour. No one does, to be honest, no one does."

In response to the song, Furuhashi acknowledged the support he had felt from his own club and supporters, writing on social media: "I'll never walk alone."

Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi shakes hands with manager Ange Postecoglou. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Rangers made it clear that kind of fan behaviour would not be tolerated.

"The individuals involved have been identified and will be banned indefinitely from all Rangers games," the club said in a statement.

"Furthermore, the RSC of which they were members and travelled with to the game, have been banned from receiving tickets for future fixtures."

A Police Scotland spokeswoman confirmed the force "is aware of a video circulating on social media and officers are liaising with the club to make relevant enquiries".

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