Sectarianism is still at heart of Scottish football

Sectarianism web

The vast majority of football supporters said they had witnessed sectarian behaviour at games

23rd August 2017 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

Football chiefs have been urged to take action after a majority of fans said sectarianism is still rife in the game.

Thousands of football fans took part in the Supporters Direct Scotland survey, where they were asked a wide range of questions on the game.

And 88% said they had witnessed sectarianism in Scottish grounds, with half of those questioned saying they had been subjected to abuse.

Charity Nil by Mouth said the survey showed that the problem had not been tackled effectively by clubs and football bosses.

Campaign director Dave Scott said: “What is hugely significant about this survey is that it's not taken from second hand opinions, academics or even campaign groups like ourselves but from the fans who go to games week in, week out – the very life blood of the sport.

“They are telling us loud and clear that Scottish football is still failing to tackle this deep seated problem and that clubs and governing bodies need to face up to the challenge. We believe introducing UEFA's Strict Liability principles into the Scottish game will have a real impact on the situation and fines gathered under it for continued misbehaviour at matches could be given to groups like Supporters Direct to engage fans in education programmes.”

Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan said that cracking down on unacceptable behaviour was still a priority.

He said: "Tackling unacceptable conduct also remains at the forefront of our minds and earlier this year we strengthened our guidance to our members, with the clubs now accepting more responsibility in Scottish Cup matches to investigate and impose sanctions on those who have misbehaved at our games."

The majority of fans quizzed (71%) said they were opposed to the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, which is under review, as it has not prevented poor behaviour at games.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “On the subject of unacceptable conduct, we continue to work closely with Scottish Government, Scottish FA and our clubs. In January of this year the SPFL published updated and newly approved league-wide guidance on unacceptable conduct, applicable to all 42 member clubs. Recently, we also agreed to collate and share information with both the Scottish Government and Police Scotland regarding incidents of unacceptable conduct at SPFL matches at regular intervals throughout the current Scottish football season.”

The survey also found that ticket pricing, kick-off times and the relationship fans have with their clubs are considered to be the three most important factors in fans deciding to attend a game.

25th August 2017 by RealFreedom

Oddly enough introducing UEFA's Strict Liability principles is NOT something that the fans wanted from this survey.Also, while the survey may have asked if sectarianism had been witnessed, it did not ask if the person had been negatively impacted by it, or whether s/he wanted the full weight of state censorship to be used to crack-down on free speech as a result.