Four Rangers fans deny singing racist song about Celtic’s Kyogo Furuhashi on supporter bus


Four men have denied singing a racist song about Japanese Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi.

Ian McKenzie, 30, Mark Speirs, 26, Dylan Devine, 25, and Marc Newton, 24, are all alleged to have chanted on a supporters bus travelling from East Kilbride, Lanarkshire.

The bus was carrying Rangers fans to the club’s clash with Ross County at Dingwall last month.

Prosecutors claim McKenzie, Speirs and Newton behaved in a threatening or abusive manner by singing a song containing ‘racial lyrics’ during the bus journey.

McKenzie is also alleged to have made a gesture in an ‘aggressive’ manner.

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It is further claimed that during a separate incident Speirs and Devine behaved in a threatening or abusive manner and made a ‘racial gesture’ and sang a ‘racial song’.

The charges against all four men state the alleged offences were ‘racially aggravated’.

McKenzie also faces a separate charge which claims he was in possession of cocaine in July this year in East Kilbride.

McKenzie, of East Kilbride, Speirs, of Wishaw, Devine, of Cleland, and Newton, of Bellshill, all pled not guilty when their case called at Hamilton Sheriff Court.

They were granted bail by Sheriff Moira MacKenzie.

Depute fiscal Abby Seal attempted to have all four men banned from attending regulated football matches in Scotland as part of their bail conditions but this was rejected by the sheriff.

A preliminary hearing has been set for January with a trial the following month.

Following video of the bus journey emerging on social media, Rangers announced supporters seen in the footage had been issued with indefinite bans.

The club also banned the Westwood RSC supporters’ club from receiving tickets for future fixtures.

Rangers said the club ‘condemns all forms of racism and discrimination.’

It added: “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.”

Since joining from Japanese side Vissel Kobe this summer, Furuhashi, 26, has scored seven goals and become a favourite among Celtic fans.

Celtic tweeted: “If reports are accurate then such sickening and pathetic racist behaviour directed towards Kyogo Furuhashi deserves absolute condemnation.”

Furuhashi himself later tweeted: “I’ll never walk alone.”


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