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BBC OnePanorama


Last Updated: Sunday, 6 March 2005, 22:42 GMT
Scotland's secret shame
Celtic and Rangers fans
BBC One, Sunday, 27 February 2005, 22:15 GMT

This is a documentary about hate and bigotry. About sections of two communities, for generations at odds with one another, where the wrong colour of clothing can mark you out for serious injury, or even, on occasion, death. It's also a documentary about football.

Sectarianism and religious bigotry have long been accepted as part of a way of life in Scotland. The divide between Protestant and Catholic, the Orange and the Green, is most visibly reflected in the support for Rangers and Celtic which begins early and spreads from parent to child, from one generation to the next.

Only last year, the First Minister, Jack McConnell, labelled this particular brand of hatred, "Scotland's secret shame."

It manifests itself most dramatically during what is called the greatest club fixture in the football calendar - the "Old Firm" derby between Rangers and Celtic. After a recent match, there was one murder, three attempted murders and 62 arrests during a night of violence.

On days like this, emergency callouts for Accident and Emergency teams will increase by 66%, the vast majority made up of violent or drunken assaults between opposing fans.

Legislation has now been introduced which outlaws sectarian behaviour. Panorama investigates the effectiveness of the legal challenge and for the first time puts the two major Glasgow football clubs under the spotlight as they attempt to rid sectarianism from their supporters. It also explores the violence and mayhem that undermines and erodes the new image that Glasgow and Scotland want to present to the outside world.

Contributors include the First Minister, Jack McConnell, Rangers and Celtic Football clubs, and interviews with those who have carried out acts of sectarian violence.

Production team:
Reporter: Sam Poling
Producer: Murdoch Rodgers
Deputy Editors: Andrew Bell, Frank Simmonds
Editor: Mike Robinson

Your comments
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