BY Martin Dunlop | March 5 | comments icon 1 COMMENT     print icon print

8-ANTI-SECTARIAN-OFFICERS

Scottish football supporters need to sing from the same anti-sectarian song-sheets

One year on from the Scottish Government's anti-sectarianism football bill, the chairman of sport at Edinburgh University says that an official songbook is not a fanciful idea

Football supporters in Scotland should be issued with definitive lists on what is permitted under the Scottish Government’s anti-sectarian legislation, according to an academic.

Grant Jarvie, chairman of sport at Edinburgh University, has said that an official songbook is not a fanciful idea and would provide meaningful guidance to fans.

The suggestion comes as the first anniversary of the SNP’s Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act, which the Catholic Church in Scotland consulted on, comes round. It is an act that has been criticised by football supporters and opposition politicians, some of whom believe the legislation harasses supporters, puts them under surveillance and erodes their rights.

Kenny MacAskill, Justice Secretary, has, however, insisted that the Scottish Government’s attempts to tackle sectarian behaviour are working well.

“The charge and conviction rates for people arrested under this legislation show that it is working well,” Mr MacAskill said. “This legislation was introduced in response to Scotland’s police and prosecutors, who told us they needed greater powers to take a hard line on sectarianism associated with football.

“We have made clear that bigotry and religious hatred have no place in modern Scotland and we will stamp out on it wherever and whenever it occurs.

“The overwhelming majority of football fans are law-abiding and want to enjoy the friendly rivalry that is part of any game without this being marred by the actions of a mindless minority.”

Mr MacAskill added that ‘the problem of sectarianism is not just a football issue.’ “That is why we are spending £9 million in the next three years on a range of projects to tackle sectarianism across society,” he said.

Several figures, including Ally McCoist, the manager of Rangers FC, have raised the idea of a book of acceptable songs for fans to sing at matches, an opinion that is backed by Mr Jarvie.

“Fans need guidance on what songs can and cannot be sung and the suggestion from the Rangers manager that an official songbook needs to be produced to provide meaningful guidance to fans is not as fanciful as it may sound at first,” he said.

Under the new legislation, so far 89 per cent of the cases reported to the Crown Office have been prosecuted, and the conviction rate stands at 83 per cent.

—martin@sconews.co.uk

 

 

Comments - One Response

  1. Jo says:

    Not sure why the SCO is even covering this. Sectarian behaviour at football matches in Scotland is not related to religion or God. It is sheer tribalism at its absolute worse and both sides are as bad as each other.

Leave a Reply

latest news

British Government to double SCIAF’s 50th anniversary Lenten appeal total

August 21st, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Development agency of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland wins UK...


Rector of Scots College named a Monsignor

August 21st, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Pope Francis has named Fr John Hughes, who has been...


Holy Father speaks about loss of family members

August 20th, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis thanked those who...


Pope mourns tragic deaths of three relatives in a car crash

August 19th, 2014 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Holy Father is ‘deeply pained’ over loss this morning of...




Social media

Latest edition

P1-AUGUST-22-2014

exclusively in the paper

  • St Mary’s Cathedral parish in Edinburgh marks 200 years with Masses with Archbishop Cushley.
  • Diamond jubilee celebrations held in Girvan for Canon Thomas Gibbon.
  • Andrew Carnegie tells the SCO about the vital service provided by food banks such as his but reminds all that the ultimate aim is to eliminate the need for them
  • Review of Queenship Mass celebration in Carfin.
  • Missionary Children hopes all Scottish schools will hold a Mission day of Many Colours.

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO