Thursday, 4 October 2018

Should Rangers take action over strong allegations?

Tonight Rangers face Rapid Vienna (or Rapid Wien for you connoisseurs) and that really is all we will focus on after this piece, but alas the last few days have been overshadowed a touch by the alleged actions of Daniel Candeias and Alfredo Morelos which have been significantly in the media.

The fact neither player has denied the allegations suggests they are true, as did manager Steven Gerrard’s condemnation of any player guilty of what they are accused of doing.

In short, Livingston’s Lee Miller has alleged that Morelos in particular failed to commit to post-match protocol and shake hands with various Livi players, something Miller has also apparently accused his buddy Candeias of as well.

Indeed, the fact that Andy Halliday and Borna Barisic had to get involved as well does indicate something a tad unsavoury occurred, and rather than Rangers players being petty and refusing to shake hands over ‘over exuberant’ celebrations, Miller’s team mate Declan Gallagher claims it was the initial refusal of hand shakes which led to Livi being lavish with their post-match celebrations.

We may seem like we’re making a big deal out of nothing, a mountain out of a molehill, but if Rangers are supposed to stand for one thing, certainly for ourselves, it is dignity.

And a refusal to shake hands at the whistle whether it was a result of pettiness over the result, opponent conduct during the match or post-match celebrations is simply unacceptable and beyond childish.

It is extremely undignified.

Their manager agrees too – Gerrard demands his players shake hands, regardless of how they feel, because it is the right, gentlemanly and proper thing to do, and anyone who doesn’t, simply isn’t being a gentleman and isn’t fit for the Rangers shirt.

The code of conduct isn’t written into the rules, but neither is being a gentleman and kicking the ball out of play for an injury, but most players do this because at the end of the day, while everyone is earning their living out there, they are supposed to honour the integrity of the sport and the safety of their opponent.

And guess what, James Tavernier agrees as well. While he didn’t expressly refer to the handshake refusal, he led by example in confirming Rangers players must behave like them and use any adversity to improve themselves, rather than reacting. We’ve had doubts about Tav as captain, but this was proper leadership.

End of the day, if it really is true about Morelos and Candeias, they’ve shamed the shirt and brought disrepute on the club and themselves.

And we don’t really want players like that.

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