The Uefa delegate for tonight’s Europa league tie between sporting Lisbon and Rangers is Jean-Louis Piette from France.
The UEFA match delegate last week at Ibrox was Mr Michal Listkiewicz, from Poland.
I had asked the UEFA media office if Mr Listkiewicz had a sufficient grasp of the English language to be able to identify the discriminatory chanting that was clearly audible on the televised match from Ibrox.
I got the following fairly standard reply:
“UEFA Delegates are made aware of such issues. However, in this case, nothing was mentioned on this topic in his report.”
When I asked UEFA to clarify Mr Listkiewicz’s ability in the English language I was referred onto the Polish FA.
I did so and I put the same question to their press officer in Warsaw.
I have yet to receive a reply.
Mr Listkiewicz was the 7th match delegate to cover UEFA controlled matches involving Rangers this season.
The nationalities of the delegates have included Poland (twice) the Czech Republic and Sweden.
In each of these seven matches discriminatory chanting about Catholics and Irish people have been heard at various times.
The section of Rangers fans who regularly roar about their hatred for “Fenian Bastards” at UEFA controlled matches probably believe they can do so with impunity despite UEFA’s stated Zero Tolerance policy on discriminatory chanting.
They believe that UEFA is not serious enough on these matters.
I think it is a fairly safe bet that the pathological hatred of Irish Catholics that resides within this section of Rangers supporters will be further manifested tonight in Portugal.
The question is will Mr Piette hear anything untoward?