Rangers pull out of Celtic friendly in Australia after fans protest | Soccer

Rangers have withdrawn from the Sydney Super Cup competition in Australia where they were due to face rivals Celtic in Sydney in November for the first Old Firm derby outside Scotland.

Rangers were also scheduled to take on Western Sydney Wanderers, with Celtic playing Sydney FC in the four-team tournament which was opposed by many Rangers supporters.

The match had been billed as a special homecoming for Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou, which upset Rangers fans.

A section of Rangers supporters disrupted the 20 March Premiership game with Dundee at Dens Park by throwing objects on the pitch, including tennis balls and toilet rolls, in protest.

Stewards clear toilet paper and tennis balls from the Dens Park pitch.
Stewards clear toilet paper and tennis balls from the Dens Park pitch. Photograph: Kirk O’Rourke/Rangers FC/REX/Shutterstock

The Ibrox club said in a statement on Thursday that “tournament organisers were unwilling to fulfil their commitments” and Rangers had terminated the agreement.

Co-promoters TEG Sport and Left Field Live said they were disappointed that Rangers had pulled out of their “contracted commitment”.

“We refute any suggestions that we were unwilling to fulfil our commitments to Rangers. We have acted in good faith and have put the event on sale with a great response from fans here,” read a statement.

“In changing their minds, the Rangers board has let down many fans in Australia and the Asian region. We will now consult with our shareholders before determining our response.”

Some Celtic fans had also displayed banners opposing the controversial overseas derby, which was due to take place during the domestic break for the World Cup in Qatar.

Former Australia boss Postecoglou, appointed by Celtic last June, guided the Socceroos to their maiden Asian Cup triumph in 2015 and was at the helm for the 2014 World Cup finals.

Australian fans of British football will have a chance to see Premier League clubs Manchester United and Crystal Palace play friendlies in Melbourne in July.

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