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Gerrard calls on Rangers fans to stay at home for Celtic clash

Ibrox boss says supporters 'must stay safe' as Rangers prepare to travel across Glasgow to face Celtic next weekend.

Gerrard calls on Rangers fans to stay at home for Celtic clash SNS Group

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has appealed to the club’s supporters to stay at home during next week’s derby clash against Celtic.

The Ibrox boss told fans the “best place you can support my players and I this Sunday is from the comfort of your own home”.

Thousands of Rangers fans breached coronavirus lockdown rules last weekend as the Light Blues clinched their first top-flight title in ten years, leading to concerns the scenes could be repeated at Celtic Park on March 21.

In a statement released by Rangers on Saturday night, Gerrard said: “This is another huge week for Rangers Football Club.

“The players would want nothing more than to hear the fans sing and support us in the ground and hear you behind every pass, every tackle, and to lose themselves in utter euphoria when the ball hits the net.

“Sadly, however, right here and right now, you can’t be there with us. You can’t follow us to Parkhead as champions – and the first time we can say we are champions in a decade.

That hurts me, it hurts my management team and it hurts my players.”

“Make no doubt about it, we want you there with us, but sadly, right now, you can’t be. We know you are with us here in spirit and we know how much last weekend meant to you when we secured the title.

“We know all of you enjoyed it, but we must stay safe, and stay at home.”

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf said Rangers and Celtic had to send out a “clear message” to fans to stay at home on March 21 after the scenes on Sunday as Rangers supporters celebrated their title win.

Thousands of fans breached coronavirus lockdown rules to gather outside Ibrox and in George Square after their side clinched the Premiership.

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As well as gathering outside Ibrox Stadium to sing and set off red, white and blue smoke bombs, Rangers fans also congregated in Glasgow’s George Square – leaving memorial benches destroyed and litter strewn across the area.

Police made 28 arrests and seven people were issued with fixed penalty notices or will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

Reasons for arrest included assaulting police officers, breaching coronavirus regulations, disorder, use of flares and sectarian breaches of the peace.

Celtic released a statement on Friday saying they had been clear about the need for fans to follow the rules throughout the pandemic – a message they would “re-emphasise” ahead of the game.

Parkhead interim boss John Kennedy said: “It’s about staying at home, being safe and sticking to the rules and legislation in place because it’s difficult for everyone.

“It’s a difficult period for society as a whole but especially surrounding the game and the attention it brings, you know, we want to make sure that everybody does the right thing and stays at home.”