Rangers chiefs have shared their disappointment after official confirmation of an early kick-off in the second-leg tie against Benfica at Ibrox.

The Ibrox club will first travel to Portugal in the first-leg of the last 16 tie for an 8pm kick-off against Benfica.

However, the return leg at Ibrox - on March 14 - will be played at 5.45pm due to "broadcaster commitments".

Ibrox chiefs have detailed their disappointment at the decision despite a "robust case being made to UEFA" for the match to be played in the traditional 8pm slot.

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A statement on the club website read: "Rangers, on behalf of our supporters, are disappointed to have learned our Round of 16 Europa League home match with Benfica, on Thursday March 14, will kick-off at 17:45.

"Despite a robust case being made to UEFA for the fixture to be played in the traditional 20:00 slot, it is instead to begin significantly earlier, primarily due to broadcaster commitments, and thus likely cause significant inconvenience and disruption to our supporters.

"The club fully sympathises with our loyal supporters for the additional sacrifices they may need to make to attend the match, with this issue falling totally outside of our control."

Rangers vs Benfica round of 16 fixture dates

Benfica vs Rangers - Thursday, March 7 - 8pm

Rangers vs Benfica - Thursday, March 14 - 5.45pm