By Adefunmiloye Alani

17th Jun, 2021 | 9:30am

UEFA ban Rangers fans from attending qualifying away fixtures

Rangers will be without their supporters for the crucial Champions League qualifying rounds as UEFA have banned travelling fans.

The Light Blues are looking to play in the group stages of Europe’s elite competition for the first time since 2011, and are kicking off their campaign in the third qualifying round.

Rangers will need to advance to the play-off round and win to make it to the final draws for the competition proper, but will have to do so without their travelling fans.

In a statement issued to Northern Irish side Larne, UEFA confirmed that away fans are banned from the qualifiers.

It read: “We remind you that in case of UEFA matches are staged with spectators all clubs must respect the UEFA Minimum Health & Hygiene Requirements for the Return of Spectators v2.

“Please note that in view of the ongoing travel restrictions and in order to minimise COVID-19 related risks, the UEFA Executive Committee decided as well to not allow visiting fans to attend UEFA club competition matches and not to apply the 5% rule for visiting supporters for all 2021/22 qualifying phase and play-offs matches.”

Navigating through two qualifying games – which could include one big name – without the fans could be tough.

Rangers could really do with their away support for such important games, and a prospective blow is without a doubt on the cards.

Manager Steven Gerrard and the players need our fans more than ever for those tricky away fixtures, but he will have to come up with another way to motivate his team.

We did not do badly during last season’s Europa League campaign in empty stadia and would have to find that same inspiration for these games.

Rangers players will not be fazed by whatever fans of the home teams do to us when on the road, and we cannot wait for this pandemic to end.

The draw for the third qualifying round will be held on 19 July and Gerrard will be hoping for a favourable opposition.

In other Rangers news, pundit is blown away by Gers star showing class on the biggest stage.