A pro-Palestinian protester who halted a Rangers football match by running on to the pitch and shouting sectarian abuse was given 200 hours' community service yesterday.

Sean Gallagher, 21, invaded the pitch at Ibrox Stadium during last November's Uefa Cup tie against Israeli side Maccabi Haifa wearing a Palestinian flag around his shoulders and a T-shirt with a picture of the Pope.

He tried to handcuff himself to the goalpost then taunted Rangers fans by shouting an IRA slogan as he was led off.

Gallagher pled guilty to racially aggravated breach of the peace last month and was yesterday fined £400 at Glasgow Sheriff Court and banned from attending any UK football matches and some regulated matches in Europe.

It is the first time a criminal Football Banning Order (FBO) has been granted in Scotland, despite protestations from Gallagher's defence council he is not a football fan and would be unlikely to attend any football matches.

Rangers were fined £4212 by Uefa following the game on November 2 last year. But Sheriff Fiona Tait refused an application to make Gallagher pay compensation to the club, saying it would not be appropriate, given his personal circumstances.

The court was told that Gallagher, a former NHS administration assistant, had lost his job, been subjected to death threats and was forced to leave the country as a result of the pitch invasion. His mother had become ill with stress and had been visited by people threatening violence towards him, the court was told.

Gallagher had staged the protest after travelling to Palestine and being moved by the plight of people there, the court was told. But he later agreed his actions had been "ill-judged and stupid".

Ross Yuill, Gallagher's solicitor, said the pitch invasion was not football related but a politically motivated protest at the situation in Palestine.

He said pressure had been placed on Gallagher by members of the Scottish Palestinian Campaign, which had objected to Rangers playing the Israeli team and had leafleted the match.

But Mick Napier, chairman of the campaign group, told The Herald no-one in the organisation had been aware of Gallagher's plans. "If I had been, I would have discouraged him in the strongest possible terms. It was completely unacceptable," he said.

Delivering sentence yesterday, the sheriff said: "There is no doubt the offence you committed is at the higher end of the range of such offences.

"This gave rise to considerable risk for public disorder and for crowd trouble. That remains the case despite political motivations."

Rangers welcomed the verdict but expressed disappointment Gallagher had not been ordered to pay compensation.

A spokeswoman said: "The actions of the individual during the match against Maccabi Haifa were totally irresponsible and it is right he was convicted and punished in the courts. What is disappointing is that his actions led to Rangers Football Club being fined £4212 by Uefa."