Rangers will have to close a section of Ibrox for their first group game after being found guilty of a second charge of sectarian chanting.

The club will have to leave at least 3,000 seats vacant, the same punishment as was served during the second leg with Legia Warsaw on Thursday after a similar offence against St Joseph’s in the first qualifying round.

Rangers were charged by for a second time after the “racist behaviour” of their travelling support during the first leg against Legia.

After that offence was announced, the Scottish Premiership club confirmed they would not take tickets for their first away match in .

In a statement released on Wednesday, Rangers said they had taken the decision “even though this means that, once again, the many must suffer because of the few”.

It added: “This kind of behaviour has no place at Ibrox, or anywhere else where our many teams appear. Offenders must please stop. You are endangering your club, which has recently launched its Everyone Anyone project aimed at welcoming all to Ibrox.

“Those who h to sing offensive songs must realise by now that they are insulting Rangers players, staff, and fellow fans. There is nothing clever, bold or even dent in what this small number of supporters are doing.”

Rangers could have faced having to play their first group game behind closed doors, but it is understood that the fact the second offence took place at an away game is the reason for the lesser sanction.

They will also have to display a banner with the wording “#EqualGame” and the logo on it.

Legia, meanwhile, are expected to be charged after their supporters let off flares at Ibrox on Thursday, causing the game to be temporarily halted.

It remains unclear whether the Polish club could also face sanctions after their fans displayed a banner of Pope John Paul II at Ibrox but it is likely to be early next week before any decision is conveyed.

Legia Warsaw fans displayed a banner of Pope John Paul II
Legia fans let of flares during the second half at Ibrox

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