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Football: Rangers chief Green charged over racism claims

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Rangers chief executive Charles Green has been charged over claims he made racist comments, the Scottish Football Association revealed on Wednesday.

Green is accused of breaking the SFA's Disciplinary Rule 66 and Disciplinary Rule 71, which concern comments that bring the game into disrepute.

He was criticised by campaign group Show Racism the Red Card earlier this week after he told a newspaper that he referred to former Rangers director Imran Ahmad as his "little Paki friend".

"The comments of Charles Green are very ill-advised and someone in his public position should really know better than to use this kind of racist and offensive language," the group's chief executive, Ged Grebby, said on Tuesday.

Green, however, defended himself, blaming Show Racism the Red Card for succumbing to a knee-jerk reaction.

"In the interview, I referred to the fact we are now living in a politically correct world where words and phrases that were once used are no longer acceptable," he said.

"My use of the word 'Paki' was when I was referring to how I sometimes warmly address my colleague and friend Imran Ahmad when we meet, something we both know is light-hearted.

"I deplore racism and sectarianism and this football club does a huge amount of work in this area to help eradicate these problems."

Rangers, winners of the Scottish league title on 54 occasions, recently celebrated winning the Third Division, having been demoted to Scotland's fourth tier after going into administration at the end of last season.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said Green's alleged remarks were unhelpful.

"It's very surprising and it's very frustrating when we are all trying to build a stronger and more positive game for the future," Regan told Britain's Press Association.

"It's not helpful for anybody, irrespective of who it is, to be using the kind of remarks that were used at the weekend, but we need to give Mr Green the chance to explain himself and that's what we have done."

Regan added: "It's our job to engage with black and ethnic communities to build stronger relationships for the game, therefore anything that challenges that is something that we take very seriously."

thw/as

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130410/football-rangers-chief-green-charged-over-racism-claims-0