Football: Rangers chief Green sorry over racism charge

Rangers chief executive Charles Green apologised on Wednesday after he was charged by the Scottish Football Association over claims he made racist comments.

The charge relates to a recent interview with a Scottish newspaper in which Green said that he referred to former Rangers director Imran Ahmad as his "little Paki friend".

His comments were criticised by anti-racism organisation Show Racism the Red Card, which described his language as "racist and offensive".

Green initially rebuffed the criticism, claiming the group had succumbed to a "knee-jerk reaction", but in a statement released on Wednesday, he said sorry for his actions.

"I apologise unreservedly if any offence has been taken by my remark," he said in a statement published on the Rangers website.

"I was actually trying to make the point, albeit clumsily, that I am not a racist.

"Imran Ahmad is a close friend and business associate and I would certainly have no cause or wish to offend him."

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."