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

Glasgow Phoenix Choir to perform at Carfin in aid of grotto

May 29th, 2015 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

The Glasgow Phoenix Choir and guests will perform in concert...


SNP no longer pushing for control over abortion

May 29th, 2015 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Our concern is with the process, as opposed to the...


Maryhill Mass of many cultures unites the community

May 29th, 2015 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Immaculate Conception Church in Maryhill was illuminated in colour on...


Time for reflection after Ireland says yes to same-sex marriage

May 29th, 2015 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

The Archbishop of Dublin has said the Church in Ireland...




Social media

Latest edition

P1-MAY-29-2015

exclusively in the paper

  • Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow celebrated the Neophytes Mass in St Andrew’s Cathedral on Sunday.
  • Ian Dunn tells of the joys of taking part in the SCIAF cycle pilgrimage, and of being SCO deputy editor.
  • Parishioners at St Margaret Mary’s in Castlemilk have erected a cross in the parish grounds having raised money for their cause with a walking pilgrimage.
  • In this, the month of Mary, Deacon Henry McKenna explains the multi-faceted role Our Lady has in the Church.
  • Comment and analysis of the same-sex marriage referendum in Ireland.

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