Police urged to investigate Celtic fans' abuse of Nacho Novo

An image from social media footage of ex Rangers star Nacho Novo during the airport confrontation

An image from social media footage of ex Rangers star Nacho Novo during the airport confrontation

A man at the centre of a social media storm after he was filmed in a confrontation with former Rangers star Nacho Novo last night expressed his deep regret over the incident.

A football club in Belfast has spoken out in support of a former Rangers player who was subjected to sectarian abuse at an airport in the city.

Nacho Novo made his name in Scotland as a legend for Rangers and he remains a an idol for many fans in the blue half of Glasgow.

The Spaniard had travelled to Belfast to attend East Belfast FC academy's prizegiving day for players aged 11 and 12.

The second takes place outside the airport as Novo approaches the man, dressing in a Celtic tracksuit, and asks why he "disrespected" him, saying he "did nothing" to provoke the abuse.

East Belfast FC said: "Not only does such behaviour have no place in sport, but it has no place within society".

Initially, the Ibrox favourite laughed off the chant, which the fan filmed, but then Novo chose to confront the man outside the airport terminal.

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"We are disgusted and angry that Nacho was subjected to a barrage of vile sectarian abuse", a spokesman for the academy has been quoted as saying by BBC News.

The club called on the Police Service of Northern Ireland to investigate the matter.

Novo suffered a heart attack in January and was left fighting for his life and it is believed that these taunts were referencing his heart attack.

Novo was confronted by the supporter as the player arrived in Belfast for a prize-giving ceremony for children.

The 39-year-old initially laughed off the incident but in another video, Novo can be seen confronting the Celtic fan over his behaviour asking him "Why do you respect me like that?"

"Not many sporting heroes go out of their way to travel from another country to do what Nacho did, the smiles on the kids' faces spoke a million words and Nacho has promised to continue his support for our club".

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