URINATING on television sets showing clips of Rangers in action, stamping on a fellow professional's throat so severely that he required the kiss of life on the field, more missile launches than during the Gulf War . . . and they want to award football the Nobel Peace Prize for promoting community togetherness.

The ill-will between Rangers and Aberdeen reared its ugly head again in midweek with two sendings-off and the most disgraceful kind of insult, regardless of whether or not the mystery offender realised Tugay's family bereavement.

For a change, the police reported no crowd trouble before, during, or after the confrontation at Ibrox, but the players themselves seem intent on continuing the poisonous traditions of the fixture that rivals the Old Firm derby in terms of neanderthal behaviour on and off the pitch.

Astonishingly, the sparks flew once again despite the fact that more than half the 22 players who started the match were from abroad, while the home-grown contingent were probably sucking their sma milk when the likes of Derek Johnstone and John McMaster unwittingly laid the foundations for this poor excuse for a sporting contest.

Ritual resentment is nothing new in football, or any sport for that matter. Indeed, the Old Firm's worldwide popularity has been built on its freak-show mystique, a hybrid of pseudo-football and downright hatred, but the authorities are reluctant to intervene on what they believe is an issue to be resolved by the feuding parties.

Steps were taken last season to quell the tension in the stands with supporters from both sides invited to attend a pre-match operational meeting with security, but while the Scottish Football Association reported a successful response to the initiative, admissions of ''straightening out'' opponents and frequent flare-ups only serves to incite.

The origins of the Rangers-Aberdeen aggro can be traced back to 21 years ago, when Johnstone provoked the fury of the Dons support with what they believed was a blatant dive in the League Cup final, one which nevertheless fooled the referee and resulted in the removal of Doug Rougvie and a Rangers victory.

A year later, McMaster had to be given the kiss of life at Ibrox after a vicious stamp on the throat by Willie Johnston, with the Rangers winger given his marching orders for his despicable act. Sendings off became commonplace throughout the early eighties as Rangers struggled to come to terms with their fall from grace, while, under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson, when he was plain old Alex, the northern lights became the leading lights in the Scottish game with the emergence of Jim Leighton, Willie Miller, Alex McLeish, Gordon Strachan, and Eric Black.

Graeme Souness's arrival at Ibrox in 1986 and the departure of Ferguson to Manchester United resulted in another switch of power and heightened the hysteria surrounding the fixture multi-fold.

The point of no return was crossed on October 1988, when Neil Simpson stamped on the right knee of Ian Durrant, putting the young midfielder out of action for two years, ending his dream of making it to the very top of his profession, and gave rise to a new wave of hatred.

The image of that challenge, with Simpson's face contorted with venom and leg primed to destroy, is as clear today as it was 13 years ago and the moment's madness arguably ruined two promising careers, with the Aberdeen midfielder's guilt preventing him from speaking about the incident even now.

From then on it was open season for both sets of fans and players. When Ally McCoist had a narrow escape when a golf ball with a nail drilled into it was thrown from the away end at Ibrox, the Rangers fans hit back by booing a minute's silence for Sir Matt Busby at Pittodrie.

The Paramount bar in the Granite City went one better, or worse, by introducing Rangers videos to the gents toilet with customers invited to urinate over them. Piss on a Prod, as it might have been called, was followed by the Dons fans' jeering of a minute's silence, this time for the former Rangers player, George Young.

''Scum'', cried the Rangers programme, ''morons'', suggested John Brown in his autobiography, while Aberdeen's own website had to be cleaned up after obscene messages were left by fans with nothing better to do with their time.

In between times, Rangers rubbed salt into Aberdeen's deep wounds during their barren years by insisting they only play four times a season. Richard Gough, Andy Goram, and even Dick Advocaat have been known to use that particular pre-match hand grenade. And so to the present day, where Fernando Ricksen admitted on his website that he deliberately tried to ''straighten out'' Darren Young for having the audacity to challenge Michael Mols minutes earlier. The Dutchman then suggested he had misquoted himself.

Phil McGuire and Neil McCann are the latest entrants into the hall of shame for their acts of petulance during Rangers' 1-0 win on Wednesday but the SFA and SPL were united in washing their hands of the bitter, long-running feud.

''It is nothing compared to what happens during an Old Firm match, when historically - and statistically when looking at police records - there is more bad feeling between the two sets of fans. If we felt it was getting out of control then we would consider stepping in but it is not at that stage,'' said an SFA spokesman.

Roger Mitchell, the chief executive of the SPL, added: ''On- field discipline is a matter for the referee but in terms of the relationship between clubs at SPL level, I know for a fact David Murray and Stewart Milne get on exceptionally well.''

The last word, though, should go to a man who has crossed the other great divide and lived to tell the tale. Indeed, David Robertson plans on returning to Aberdeen briefly next week ''if I'm allowed in''.

He left Pittodrie for Ibrox more than a decade ago and suggested the attitude towards the game was the same on both sides. They just had to win. And at all costs. ''In my opinion, it only got really bad once Souness arrived. He had money to spend, Aberdeen didn't and when Rangers took over at the top, there was a lot of anger,'' said the retired full back who now runs a computer store in Leeds.

''It is just like the Old Firm atmosphere, the more it is hyped up the worse it gets. The Aberdeen fans turned on me when I joined Rangers but I quickly realised that the will to win was just as intense in the dressing rooms. I don't think you can ever stop that rivalry.''

Nobel Peace Prize? Football or Saddam Hussein?

Fixture with a history of hatred

1979: Aberdeen defender Doug Rougvie is sent off in the League Cup final after an off-the-ball clash with Rangers striker Derek Johnstone. Rougvie swears he never touched Johnstone and is backed up by Dons manager Alex Ferguson. Rangers go on to win 2-1.

1980: John McMaster given kiss of life on pitch at Ibrox after being stamped on the throat by Rangers' Willie Johnston, who is sent off. Rangers won 1-0.

1984: Eric Black and Ally Dawson are ordered off at Ibrox in a bad-tempered clash. The match ended 1-1.

1985: Ally Dawson and Stewart McKimmie both sent off at Pittodrie in a 5-1 win for the Dons. Later that year, Rangers' Craig Paterson and Hugh Burns red- carded in an Aberdeen 3-0 win.

Rangers fined #2000.

1986: Aberdeen's Jim Bett and Rangers' Doug Bell ordered off in a 1-0 Dons win.

1988: A Neil Simpson tackle on Ian Durrant sees the Rangers midfielder carried off with knee ligament damage which kept him out of the game for two years. Aberdeen win 2-1.

1993: Aberdeen fans throw a golfball with a nail in it at Ally McCoist in a 2-0 win for Rangers at Ibrox.

1994: Rangers fans boo minute's silence at Pittodrie for Man-chester United legend Sir Matt Busby. Mark Hateley assaulted as he leaves Pittodrie after 2-2 draw.

1995: The Paramount Bar in Aberdeen introduces Rangers videos to their gents toilets and invites customers to urinate over them. Later the pub is targeted by Rangers supporters.

1996: An Aberdeen fanzine is forced to apologise for celebrating the death of Rangers winger Davie Cooper.

1997: Aberdeen fans jeer minute's silence for Rangers great George Young at Ibrox.

1998: John Brown calls Aberdeen fans morons and Ian Durrant claims he was sent pictures of his child with a bandage on his knee in the post. Later that year, a Rangers

programme brands Aberdeen supporters ''scum''. Richard Gough claims Aberdeen only play four times a season - when they meet Rangers.

1999: Aberdeen forced to take off obscene messages about Rangers from their official internet site.

2001: It's war again as Aberdeen's Phil McGuire and Rangers' Neil McCann are sent off, with referee John Rowbotham making eight bookings. Rangers win

1-0 and goalscorer Tugay claims a Pittodrie player made disgusting comments about his mother, who died three months ago.