Rangers F.C. has banned fans who directed racial abuse at Japanese striker Kyogo Furuhashi, BBC reports.
Rangers are a soccer team in the Scottish Premiership. They will play Celtic, another team in the Scottish Premiership, this Sunday, August 29.
On Sunday, August 22, a video surfaced of a group of fans wearing Rangers jerseys. The fans were traveling on a bus singing racist songs targeted at Furuhashi, who plays forward for Celtic. They were also making offensive eye gestures, ESPN reports.
Rangers launched an investigation into the incident and sent messages of support to Furuhashi.
“Rangers condemns all forms of racism and discrimination,” the club said in a statement, according to BBC.
“Those who partake in such behaviour are not representative of our club or the loyal support who have stood by us through thick and thin.”
Celtic also released a statement in support of Furuhashi. New Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou told Celtic TV he felt sad because he had encouraged Furuhashi to play in the Scottish Premiership.
“To be honest, it saddens me a lot because I’m the one who’s brought him over here,” he said according to ESPN. “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.
On Monday, Rangers confirmed that they had identified the fans in the video and indefinitely banned them from all the club’s games.
“Rangers can confirm that an investigation is now complete in regard to a video circulating on social media yesterday. The individuals involved have been identified and will be banned indefinitely from all Rangers games,” the club said in a statement, according to ESPN.
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