Nil by Mouth will visit 10 Scottish towns in a bid to rid the country of bigotry.
An anti-sectarian campaign charity has organised a 10-date tour of Scottish football supporters clubs in a bid to rid the country of bigotry.
Nil by Mouth is to take its Kiss Bigotry Goodbye campaign across Scotland to help highlight the positive impact football has on communities across the country.
The charity has received £5,400 from the Scottish Government to support the tour, where fans of all clubs will be able to go along free of charge and take part in football chat and quizzes with fellow fans and listen to readings from acclaimed author Daniel Gray.
While there, fans can also learn about Nil by Mouth’s most recent campaign which has seen hundreds of fans post pictures online showing what they love about football using #KissBigotryGoodbye.
Football isn't always the problem - it can be part of the solution.
The first night takes place in Leith on Friday (29 January) with other dates in Glasgow, Dumfries, Selkirk, Coatbridge, Paisley, Cowdenbeath, Bathgate, Dundee, Kilmarnock and Ayr.
The tour comes just over half way through a football season which has been tainted with incidents of poor fan behaviour including sectarian chanting as well as fans using pyrotechnics in grounds.
Earlier this month, Police Scotland assistant chief constable Bernard Higgins arrests had been made of people associated with 16 Scottish football clubs, dispelling the myth that it is a Celtic and Rangers problem.
Nil by Mouth campaign director Dave Scott said football is a hugely significant part of our culture and should be considered part of the solution and not the problem.
He said: “The behaviour of football fans can often attract negative headlines but we know that the vast majority of fans simply want to support their team and enjoy the beautiful game.
“There are many brilliant people involved in the game who run supporters buses, wash kits, drive kids to matches, coach teams free of charge and work behind the scenes at our clubs. This tour is a celebration of them and a chance for us all to focus on how the game brings people together each week.
“We all have our different teams and differing opinions, but we're all united by this love of the game, and its eccentricities. Sometimes it's easy to forget the joy, and forget that football isn't always the problem - it can be part of the solution.”
Just weeks ago Nil by Mouth challenged Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) clubs to give fans a vote on introducing European football governing body UEFA’s Strict Liability principles governing offensive behaviour at grounds as recommended last era by the Scottish Government’s Advisory Group on Sectarianism. A call the SPFL still has not responded too.
Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government minister for community safety, said he was delighted the tour was being taken to some footballing communities in Scotland.
He added: “The Scottish Government recognise that the majority of football fans are well-behaved and simply wish to support their team.”
For more information on the Kiss Bigotry Goodbye campaign and tour visit nilbymouth.org/kissbigotrygoodbye.