The Daily Record has apologised after it was forced to remove a story about Rangers Football Club within hours of publishing it, having learned the story’s central claim was inaccurate.
The Scottish daily wrongly reported that European football association UEFA was preparing sanctions against Rangers over “sectarian behaviour” during a Europa League match against Danish club FC Midtjylland.
The report by a freelance contributor claimed the Glasgow-based club, which has a large protestant fanbase, was going to be hit with a third charge following two earlier punishments for sectarian singing.
The story also ran in The Scottish Sun, The Scotsman, the Glasgow Evening Times and Football Scotland.
The Daily Record, which is owned by Reach, published a correction, apologised and removed the story within hours of publishing it on Friday. Some of the other titles have only removed it, with no explanation offered.
The paper’s correction said: “Rangers are not facing possible sanctions from UEFA over sectarian behaviour in the Europa League clash in Denmark.
“The Daily Record and other media outlets published a story that was written by a freelance who stated European football’s governing body are investigating racism from Rangers supporters during the 4-2 win at Midtjylland.”
The Scottish title later added that freelance reporter behind the story would no longer write for it, adding: “The inaccurate article has been taken down and we apologise for it.”
A spokesperson for Newsquest, which publishes the Evening Times, told Press Gazette: “The story was uploaded on the basis that it was from a trustworthy contributor.
“We were contacted by the same contributor shortly after to inform us that the story was incorrect. We immediately took the story down, then ran a correction on the subsequent story which clarified the initial report.”
A spokesperson The Scottish Sun confirmed that the article was taken down after it realised the error. JPI Media, the publisher of the Scotsman, has not commented.
The freelance journalist behind the story has not been named.
Picture: Reuters/Lee Smith