Rangers defy UEFA national anthem ban as God Save The King rings around Ibrox

Rangers had announced their intentions to play the national anthem ahead of their game against Napoli

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Rangers have defied a UEFA national anthem ban as God Saves The King rung out around Ibrox ahead of their Champions League match against Napoli.

As the teams were led out onto the pitch, the crowd sang Rule Britannia! while also showing off a display of Queen Elizabeth II's head in the middle of the union flag.

When the players arrived onto the pitch, both teams stood around the centre circle before the national anthem was sung by large parts of the crowd.

Out of respect to the period of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II, European football’s governing body toned down usual pre-match accompaniments to matches involving British clubs.

Rangers fans paid their respect to Queen Elizabeth II ahead of Wednesday's match against Napoli
Rangers fans paid their respect to Queen Elizabeth II ahead of Wednesday's match against Napoli
Players and fans stood for a minute silence at Ibrox Stadium
Players and fans stood for a minute silence at Ibrox Stadium

A statement issued before the latest round of games said: “There will be no anthems played – this also includes the UEFA Champions League anthem – on the basis of maintaining a consistent pre-match ceremony with a subdued atmosphere and without any celebratory activities across all UK venues to show respect as we did last Thursday.”

But on Wednesday afternoon, Rangers said they would be playing the national anthem ahead of the match.

In a statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, the club said: “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 Nation Anthem.”

Earlier on Wednesday, GB News' Nigel Farage hit out at UEFA's ban.

Nigel tweeted: "Time we threatened to leave European football. Without us they would be nothing."

While Rangers' actions are outside the parameters set by UEFA, it is understood that it is highly unlikely the Glasgow club will face any kind of sanction.