Rangers Fans shame themselves and the nation

So the UEFA Cup Final was in Manchester this year

A Football Report
Rangers Fans shame themselves and the nation

So the UEFA Cup Final was in Manchester this year and approximately 200,000 Rangers fans travelled down to savour the atmosphere.

They would see their team go on and lose 2-0 to Zenit St Petersburg but it wasn't the game that made the headlines. I have to admit to not watching the game (Hull City v Watford and The Apprentice won out in the watching/Sky+ stakes) but I did see the result. I heard there had been problems with the fans, but not until I saw the lunchtime news that I realised just how bad it was.

As a fan of football, I don't care for violence or hooliganism. However if two sets of fans want to meet up and beat each other up away from innocent bystanders that is their prerogative. I do have a big problem with innocent people getting involved and certainly having running battles with the Police.

When I saw these pictures from a CCTV camera on the news I was more than shocked and appalled, I was sickened to the pit of my stomach. These fans were like rabid dogs, hunting in packs and violently attacking those who opposed them. They didn't care if innocent people got dragged into the confrontations, they were just wanting a fight after a day long drinking session and having seen their team lose.

A few years ago Celtic fans travelled to Seville to watch their side play in the final of the same competition. Celtic were beaten 3-2 AET by FC Porto but you heard absolutely nothing bad about the fans. The host city had warmly welcomed the influx from the Celtic nations and the game went by without incident. The fans mingled without a problem and it was by all accounts a positive experiences.

Fast forward five years and we saw very different scenes. Fans stabbed, running battles with the police, innocent people getting attacked by fans and the police. It was just one ugly experience and one that has shamed both Rangers and British football as a whole.

I am quite frankly disgusted by it. I'll be in London on Saturday for the FA Cup Final and hope that nothing like this occurs. A final should be a great day out and even if you see your team lose, it is only a game and taking it out on anyone in a violent way is just pathetic. I may sulk all the way home if Pompey lose on Saturday, but I will not have a crossed word with an opposition fan, let alone have a fight.

Around 44 seconds into the CCTV footage linked earlier in this blog, one police officer is caught alone. He turned his back on the hoards of hooligans and started jogging back towards the rest of his colleagues. Then someone clearly trips him up and he was then pounced upon by 30 odd people kicking and hitting him.

I love football but when I see footage like this I struggle, I really do.